Equine infectious anaemia

Equine infectious anaemia (EIA) is a viral disease of horses transmitted by tabanidae and other biting flies. Central and western Queensland river systems are known to be areas of endemic EIA infection. The increase in biting flies following flooding can result in some increased transmission of EIA.


The disease can present from an inapparent infection through to a severe disease with depression, rapid loss of condition, weakness, fever and death. Anaemia develops as the disease progresses. Nasal and eye discharge, jaundice and small haemorrhages in membranes of the mouth may be seen. Other symptoms can include increased heart rate, a heart murmur, swelling of the lower body and legs, dragging of hind legs, diarrhoea and abortion. Some horses may appear to recover but then relapse, especially if placed under stress.


It is important that you take some preventative measures. These could include:

  • testing horses and removing known infected animals
  • isolating valuable, non-infected horses from other horse populations
  • applying frequent insecticidal treatment to horses to minimise their chance of being bitten by insects.

Also consider...