For Immediate Release
September 20, 2011
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock
Equine Infectious Anemia Confirmed in Carbon County Mule
A 32-year-old mule in Carbon County has been diagnosed with equine infectious anemia (EIA).
Also known as swamp fever, EIA is a potentially fatal viral disease of equines spread by biting insects. No vaccine or treatment is available for the disease, which is characterized by fever, depression, progressive weakness, weight loss, edema (fluid under the skin or in body cavities) and anemia.
The infected mule was discovered when a Coggins test – a screening test required for equine movement into or out of the state – was performed for out-of-state movement. The test was positive, and was confirmed by the USDA-APHIS National Veterinary Service Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.
Follow-up testing on two other equines located at the premises, which is currently under quarantine, is underway. The premises in located in a remote area with limited potential for exposure to other equines.
Due to strict regulations, owners of EIA-infected equines have few options. Those options include a lifetime quarantine with a minimum of 200 yards distance between the quarantined animal and other equines, euthanasia, and donating the animal for EIA-related research.
For additional information about EIA or testing requirements, please contact MDOL's Animal Health Division at 406/444-2043. Additional information is also available at:
• USDA-APHIS EIA information
• USDA-APHIS fact sheet