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Fatal Equine Disease - 12 Dead in Nebraska

This is a discussion on Fatal Equine Disease - 12 Dead in Nebraska within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        07-18-2013, 10:51 AM
      #21
    Green Broke
    Ah yes.. the EIA or "swamp fever" debate.

    Due to the unpredictability of the disease a horse that is positive usually must be put down, even if asymptomatic.

    I knew someone who had a lovely Quarterhorse mare. She was EIA Positive (this was when they first started testing). This mare was in a field with another retired mare and a retired gelding. She was a spectacular mare and she was bred to My Bay Bailey. I think this was right around the time the coggins first came out.. so she may have been bred before there was a test.. but then was tested after she was confirmed pregnant per vet recommendations (it was a long time ago).

    Anyway, she tested positive and never showed disease symptoms. She foaled a filly (Bailey Bay Sou) and the foal tested positive while nursing but 8 weeks after being weaned tested negative.

    The mare was left in the pasture with the two retired horses after that for YEARS. She tested positive and never was sick. Both the horses with her always tested negative. The horses were all put down at very advanced ages for other reasons (one no longer could get up.. he was 30, one had melanomas.. a grey.. and she was in her early 20's and the QH mare who was positive was in her 20's and had ring bone and was lame).
         
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        07-18-2013, 04:39 PM
      #22
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chevaux    
    Along those lines, I remember reading there an outbreak of "swamp fever" (as it used to be commonly referred to) amongst the Chincoteague (sp?) island horses. There was an expectation of a wiped out herd but in the end only a few head perished.

    I sometimes wonder about the testing method. As I understand it the test looks for antibodies in the horse rather than the virus itself. If that is the case, does it mean in each and every instance a horse is carrying the antibody also carries the virus (and thus capable of passing it on) or does it mean a horse has been exposed but does not actually have the disease (similar to being vaccinated for west nile, for example - you would see the antibodies obviously but the virus is not present)?
    Pretty much that's it. It seems that killing all positive horses is also killing the ones with strong immune systems that can fight off getting sick from exposure.
    Are positive horses really that contagious? There are many reports of negative horses living along side positive ones.
         
        07-22-2013, 12:48 PM
      #23
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chevaux    
    Along those lines, I remember reading there an outbreak of "swamp fever" (as it used to be commonly referred to) amongst the Chincoteague (sp?) island horses. There was an expectation of a wiped out herd but in the end only a few head perished.

    I sometimes wonder about the testing method. As I understand it the test looks for antibodies in the horse rather than the virus itself. If that is the case, does it mean in each and every instance a horse is carrying the antibody also carries the virus (and thus capable of passing it on) or does it mean a horse has been exposed but does not actually have the disease (similar to being vaccinated for west nile, for example - you would see the antibodies obviously but the virus is not present)?
    That couldn't be possible.... The virus has to enter the horse for the horse to make anti-bodies.
         

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