Horsefly Bites–What They Could Really Mean for Your Horse

For two million Americans, horses are just as beloved of pets as dogs and cats. Whether you’re an expert on horsemanship, an avid barrel racer, or just plain love sitting in a saddle, you probably want your equine friend to be as healthy as possible.
Some ailments that plague horses are more prominent than others. Colic, for example, will result in a horse who scarcely wants to stand, and will be seen laying like a dog in the grass. However, not all diseases come with clear, readable symptoms for the owner to catch on to. One of these such silent killers can quickly progress a sick horse into a fatal outcome—which is why you should check for the equine infectious anemia virus antibody.
Even though the majority of horses are unapparent carriers (meaning no abnormalities are obvious as a result of infection), they still serve as reservoirs of the infection. Horseflies can draw blood from infected horses without symptoms and transfer it to horses that will have active clinical signs of the disease. Even though it may seem like the amount of blood that one horsefly can transfer is irrelevant compared to the amount of blood in a horse’s body, it only takes one-fifth of a teaspoon from a horse demonstrating equine infectious anemia virus expression to infect 10,000 more horses.
How can you find out if your horse carries the equine infectious anemia virus antibody? That’s where veterinary diagnostics come into play. Your local veterinary lab can provide you with an equine infectious anemia virus antibody test kit to determine whether your stallion lacks the antibody—and is thusly at risk. Even if your horse doesn’t display symptoms, he is still at risk. Horses exposed to EIAV could develop severe and critical signs of the infection and die within two weeks.
All in all, you should talk to your vet immediately. Equine infectious anemia virus can devastate whole ranches of horses, but that risk can be decimated by a simple test, administered by th your local neighborhood professionals. Veterinary laboratory services could be the only thing standing between a deadly horsefly bite, and many more happy years of life for your beloved hooved friend.