Most of us jokingly use the term "Spring Fever" to apply to our desire to get away from the drudgery of work and into the welcome sunshine and fresh air of springtime; although Wikipedia assures us that "spring fever is a term applied to several sets of real physical and psychological symptoms associated with the arrival of spring. In general it refers to an increase in energy, vitality and amourous feelings..."
But the spring fevers we are addressing today should be of concern to all horse owners, since these can seriously affect your horse's health, and could even cost his life.
Mosquito control is vital since both Eastern and Western Encephalomyelitis are diseases transmitted to horses though mosquito bites. This virus affects the nervous system, causing depression, nervousness, a lack of coordination, teeth grinding, drowsiness and, finally, paralysis. Vaccinations can prevent EEE and WEE. In areas with a long mosquito season, both spring and fall vaccinations are recommended.
Coggins Disease, or "swamp fever" are more common names for Equine Infectious Anemia. Equine Infectious Anemia is a virus that is also transmitted by mosquitoes and other biting insects; which destroys a horse's red blood cells. Once infected with EIA a horse is infected for life and acts as a reservoir for the virus. While it is not transmitted directly between horses, the virus can spread from one horse to another through the bite of an insect, improperly sterilized needles, surgical instruments and dental floats and poorly cleaned bits. Symptoms include fever, weight loss, a lack of coordination and swelling of the abdomen.