Many people across the United States have owned horses since well before this great country became a country. Horses were a way of life and have been since man first discovered how useful they could be. Soon after, he discovered not only how useful they could be but what a necessity they would become.
In our modern world, the horse is not a much of a necessity as it once was, though many would argue that horses still serve a major purpose in our world. They are not the major mode of transportation they once were, but many who own horses profess a strong bond between beast and human that can hardly be compared. To that end, and for many other reasons known to horse owners, taking care of them is not only a responsibility, it is a necessity.
At least 2 million people own horses. They own them for a variety of reasons, but each owner must watch out for the many diseases that could infect their animal. A major disease to be aware of and to be on the lookout for is the equine infectious anemia virus.
When a horse is exposed to the equine infectious anemia virus, it can develop very severe symptoms of the disease quite quickly and even die within two to three weeks. The infection rate is very severe. It would only take roughly one-fifth of a teaspoon of blood from a case that has become chronic to infect 10,000 more horses.
Though equine infectious anemia virus is noncontagious, it is highly infectious in horses. The virus is caused by an RNA virus and can present as an acute, subacute, or chronic infection. While death is not always the outcome of this disease for most horses, it can be fatal. The way in which equine infectious anemia virus is mostly encountered is the inapparent chronically infected carrier.
What this means, essentially, is that the disease lives in the carrier and passes it on to others. In order for the virus to be contained, the animal must be kept apart from the others until some kind of arrangements can be made.
An equine infectious anemia virus antibody test is one way for veterinarians to determine if a horse is infected. Veterinary laboratory equipment is available to determine the severity of the disease and can help a horse owner decide what course of action to take next.
In this day and age, owning a horse is more about loving the animal than it is about putting the beast to work to handle chores such as plowing or hauling as would have been the case in days gone by. Many people who own horses today do so because they love to ride and take care of the animals.
Whatever the case may be, they still are subject to many diseases and struggles. The equine infectious anemia virus is one very important one of those diseases and needs to be looked out for by all horse owners.