Horse disease “anemia” in NRW

Authorities establish restricted area due to a horse disease.

After outbreaks of horse disease had already been reported from Bavaria and Hesse last month, the dangerous Equine Infectious Anemia has now reached North Rhine-Westphalia. At a horse farm in the city of Wetter in the Ennepe-Ruhr district, the so-called anemia was found in a horse, the animal had to be put to sleep.

Anemia was considered to be eradicated Up until about 20 years ago, "Equine Infectious Anemia" or Equine Infectious Anemia (E.I.A.) was eradicated in Germany, but in 1988 cases of the dreaded horse disease occurred again in Bavaria. The disease, which is also known as anemia and has to be fought, was probably brought back to Germany with illegally imported horses from Romania. So far there is no vaccination protection or promising treatment options, so that the animals concerned usually have to be killed on instructions from the official veterinarian.

In addition, in order to prevent further spread around the corresponding farms and businesses, a restricted area is then placed for 60 days. This prohibits the removal and import of any equidae such as donkeys, mules, mules or zebras, or only permits transport with the approval of the Veterinary Office. Since E.I.A. Accordingly, extensive precautionary measures are required not only from blood-sucking insects, but also when the horses come into contact with saliva, urine, sperm and milk.

Excluded district established The veterinary office of the Ennepe-Ruhr district has blocked the operation affected by the weather and decreed that the 83 other pension horses are not allowed to leave the farm. In the restricted area “in the Wetter Esborn / Oberwengern area there are nine other businesses with around 120 horses. These are also not allowed to leave the farms and we will also take blood samples from them, ”said the veterinarian of the Ennepe-Ruhr district, Peter Richter. "The animal comes from North Rhine-Westphalia and has not left the company in Wetter for several years," said the expert, referring to the current case, with Dr. Richter also expressed his amazement at a possible infection route. Because blood-sucking insects, which often act as carriers, are rather rare this time of the year and, according to the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, the EIA virus “only survives about 15 to 30 minutes on the insect's mouth tools”, so that “transmission via larger ones” Distances (200 m) does not occur. Infection by horses from Romania is also unlikely. To check whether other animals are infected with the dangerous virus, blood samples are to be taken from the 203 horses in the restricted area in the coming days.

Symptoms of anemia E.I.A. "Is harmless to humans", as district spokesman Ingo Niemann emphasizes. However, a disease usually has catastrophic health consequences for horses, as the virus causes the platelets and red blood cells in the horse's body to dissolve in batches. In acute cases, a disease leads directly to the animal's death, but can also lead to an ongoing course of the disease, which permanently weakens the horse's immune system and makes it more susceptible to other infections.

The symptoms of anemia include insecure and light-headed behavior, red eyes, discharge, water retention with swelling, refusal to feed and greatly reduced performance as well as severe febrile attacks with very high temperatures in the acute stage of the disease. Symptomatic sequelae are also small punctiform bleeding in several parts of the body. After about two to five days, the disease changes from an acute course to a chronic stage, whereby the affected animals themselves never get completely healthy again and are themselves sources of infection for a long time. In some horses, the E.I.A: virus "can be present without the animal showing symptoms," said Ingo Niemann

Increasing number of diseases While anemia does not yet play a special role in the animal health report from 2009, an increasing number of cases can be observed in Germany this year. On the one hand, animals imported from Romania are still often transmitters of the EIA virus (more than 11,000 animals were infected there in 2009) and, on the other hand, the virologists at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut also see an increased transmission risk “through non-certified biological products and when neglecting Disinfection and hygiene measures using injection cannulas, veterinary instruments or care accessories ”.

Therefore, all owners of the approximately 6,000 horses in the Ennepe-Ruhr district and "all persons who are involved in any way with the treatment of horses" are now asked to "pay particular attention to necessary and known hygiene regulations. This particularly affects veterinarians, veterinary practitioners and farriers, ”says the Friedrich Loeffler Institute. Ingo Niemann tried to calm the concerns of some horse owners: “If it turns out that another horse is infected - or more - the veterinary office will not simply go there and put them to sleep. All further steps are accompanied by the horse owner, ”assures the press officer of the EN group. (sb, Nov 8, 2010)

Also read:
Deadly horse disease in Bavaria

Image: Waltraud Seitz /

Author and source information

Video: MDS, Aplastic Anemia, and PNH in 2012

Previous Article

Sick leave reaches its highest level

Next Article

Increased cardiovascular risk from noise