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Can you tell me what Swamp Fever is and how horses get it, can it ...
  1. #1
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    Swamp Fever?

    Can you tell me what Swamp Fever is and how horses get it, can it be treated? Other then testing for it is there symptoms horses will show if they have it?
    I had never heard of this until last night and I'm curious to know about it.
    Do horses in certain climates get it, or can any horse get it?

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    "Swamp Fever" is the old term for Equine Infectious Anemia---a disease that devestated the horse population many years ago. There is no treatment, only testing. Horses can be carriers and not show much at all in the way of outward symptoms.

    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=5463
    Cindy D.
    Licensed Veterinary Technician, TX
    Member American Assoc. of Equine Veterinary Technicians

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    Swamp Fever (Equine Infectious Anemia) has no 'cure', is spread by large biting flies (not mosquitoes as once thought), is infectious. Until 1972, there was not a test for it until Dr. Coggins developed the "Coggins Test".

    Yes I have lost horses to it - one did literally die from it, the other I put down before he died but in the time frame from his first positive and the 2 varifying tests, he had 'done down' a lot.

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    So there is really no way to prevent our horses from getting this, and once you find out they DO have it it's too late to do anything accept put it down?
    How long does it take for symptoms to start showing up once they have been infected, and how long do they live once they HAVE been infected? Does anyone know?

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    Horses can carry this disease without showing much at all in the way of symptoms so they can have it for months before you know they are sick and even then the symptoms may be so mild and vague that they don't lead to a diagnosis. The incubation period for the disease is 1-3 weeks.
    Cindy D.
    Licensed Veterinary Technician, TX
    Member American Assoc. of Equine Veterinary Technicians

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    Any horse can get it but its more common in the south, its also very rare a horse gets it for instance in Mn. about 1 case for every 10,000 tests taken.

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    It takes blood transfer for EIA to be spread. Can't just stand next to a pos. and get 'it'. Large biting flies (NOT mosquitoes) or needles that are used on multiple horses.

    There is no hard and fast rule that I know of as to how long they might live once infected, or how bad their first/later episodes will be. With my gelding, he had shown no signs of any problem - it was just time for his 6 month test that we found him positive - was never 'off feed', lost weight, no fever, nothing. In the time that it took to get the confirming tests run at other labs, he had definately started 'down' - loss of condition, lethargic, just 'looking' sick. He had not been off the property in over a year, (others I had were off property to show but tested neg. for years after), there were no other horses nearby, there were no other pos. in the county for over a year. My mare who did literally die from EIA, we (Vet and I) had been suspecting she was positive for some time and testing often - she was classical for it but her tests kept coming back neg.. Her last test had been drawn the week before she was found dead - it came back positive. The necropsy also showed classical abnormalities associated with EIA.

    Once infected, they are carriers for life.

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    I live in Quebec Canada, has anyone heard of any cases up this way?

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    Quote Originally Posted by littlerider View Post
    I live in Quebec Canada, has anyone heard of any cases up this way?

    http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/...cts/89-114.htm

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