How the horse works series - Swamp Fever.

What is it? 
Swamp Fever is a horse disease that is caused by blood sucking insects. The virus is a lentivirus, much like HIV to the human. Swamp fever can be treated through blood, saliva, milk, and body secretions. However the infection is mainly given by biting flies e.g. a horse fly. The virus survives up to four hours in the carrier. Mares can also transmit the disease to their foals. The biggest risk of transmitting the disease is when the horse is ill, as the blood levels of the virus are at theie all time highest.

This form is the sudden onset of the disease at full force. The symptoms will include high fever, anemia, weakness, swelling of the lower abdomen and legs, weak pulse and an irregular heartbeat. The horse can also die suddenly 
This is slower, and has a less severe progression of getting the disease. The symptoms include recurrent fever, weight loss, an enlarged spleen, anemia and swelling of the lower chest, as well as other symptoms.
The horse tires easily and is unsuitable for any work. may have a recurrent fever and may show signs of anemia, may relapse to the subacute or acute form, even several years after the original attack.
Equine Infectious Anemia also known as Swamp Fever, is a virus that is carried from horse to horse, it is often carried by biting insects for example, mosquitoes. However it can also be transmitted by needles that are not sterilized and other medical equipment.

Symptoms can include the horse having a raised temperature, the horse could appear and feel extremely weak, losing coordination, and their overall health will decline. The fever will tend to spike very high and then decrease, this can happen either very quickly or it can take a while. Jaundice and Fluid Retention may develop, also Small lesions may form on the tongue.

Symptoms may disappear causing the horse to seam as though it has recovered. However the horse may remain a carrier of the disease for a long period of time, the only 100% way to make sure that the horse has completely got rid of the disease or whether the horses is still carrying the disease is by doing a blood test called 'Coggins'.

A Coggins test can identify the possible carriers of the virus, the individual can then be treated appropriately. Insect Control can also help to prevent the horses from getting Swamp Fever.  It is important to try and destroy the flies and mosquitoes that transmit the disease by doing this it might cause a decrease in the number of cases a year that have Swamp Fever.

Horses that are found to have Swamp fever must be kept in quarantine and away from other horses to make sure that the horse is not spreading disease to other animals in extreme cases it could also mean that the horse needs to be put down.

Until Next Time 
A Girl With A Dream


  1. An actually horrible disease....good information to share!

  2. Your welcome,I'm really enjoying doing this series :)


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