Hold Order Lifted At Arapahoe Park Horse Race Track
On June 28, 2016, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian’s Office, released the hold order on the Arapahoe Park race track in Aurora, CO.
The office was informed that the Equine-Infectious-Anemia-(EIA)-positive mare which prompted the hold order was euthanized Monday morning. A second exposed animal, a pony owned by the same person, was removed from the track to a newly quarantined premises.
Movement restrictions affecting horses at Arapahoe Park have been removed. Racing at the track has not been affected and will continue. The hold order prohibiting horses from entering or leaving the track was issued June 23, 2016.
The affected horse had been in Colorado less than 60 days. It appears that the horse was infected prior to coming to Colorado and previously tested negative for the disease in May of 2015. Because the disease is most commonly spread by biting flies and it is very early in Colorado’s fly season, the risk of disease transmission to other horses at the track appears to be relatively low.
Owners of horses at the track are advised to voluntarily test their animals for EIA after Aug. 27, 2016, to ensure enough time for those tests to reveal any other affected horses. CDA and USDA animal-health officials are contacting animal-health officials in other states to inform them about the previous travel of the infected horse.
FAQs about Equine Infectious Anemia
What is Equine Infectious Anemia?
Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease spread by bloodsucking insects that affects equine animals such as horses, mules and donkeys, which breaks down red blood cells. Horses may not appear to have any symptoms of the disease, although it also can cause high fever, weakness, weight loss, an enlarged spleen, anemia, weak pulse and even death.
How is it spread?
It is spread most commonly through blood by biting flies such as horse flies and deer flies.
What happens to an infected horse?
There is no cure for the disease, so infected animals have to be quarantined for life or euthanized.
Is there a danger to people?
No. The disease can only be spread to horses, mules and donkeys.
Is the disease common?
No. There has only been a small number of cases in the United States, although the disease exists in other parts of the world. A map of cases from the year 2015 is available at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/horse-disease-information/equine-infectious-anemia/ct_eia_distribution_maps .
How is the disease controlled?
Equine Infectious Anemia is a disease for which horses must be tested annually before they can be transported across state lines. The test for EIA is commonly called a Coggins Test. The horse at Arapahoe Park last tested negative in May of 2015.
More facts on EIA: