Equine infectious anemia possible problem in Weld County

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WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Equine infectious anemia. It may not mean much to most folks but it means a whole lot to the ranching and horse community.

“It’s a viral disease that can cause fevers, weight loss, anemia or low red blood cell counts, and some cases can even be serious and cause death,” said Keith Roehr, Colorado Department of agriculture state veterinarian.

One horse in Weld County tested positive for EIA. It happens in Colorado about once a year. Horses that are positively diagnosed with equine infectious anemia have to be isolated away from other horses.

But therein lies the problem. The outfit that sold this horse shipped 100 other horses to 20 different states.

And an additional 140 horses went to locations throughout Colorado. They were all on the same property as the one that tested positive for EIA. “To date, we’ve located 57 of those horses located in Colorado on 26 different premises in 13 different counties,” said Roehr.

Problem Solvers have learned only one horse has been tested positive. “We hope and have reason to believe the number of total infected horses may only be one,” said Roehr.

Per the states Livestock Security Information Act they are not allowed to reveal the identity of the premises in Weld county that sold the infected horse.

All the buyers that bought horses from them, however, have been notified and are aware of the investigation.

If you own a horse, here’s the good news: “If you use good fly control and you work with your veterinarian your risk in the state is probably infinitesimally small.”

If you are a horse owner, or a horse owner in Weld County and have any questions, the Colorado Department of agriculture encourages you to give them a call.

And by the way, the disease is not a threat to humans.

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