Traveling with Your Horse? Schedule a Coggins Test First

While you may not be attending as many horse shows or events right now, there are still horse activities to enjoy while social distancing. For example, you may wish to leave the state to go camping or trail riding. For these interstate adventures, your horse requires a Coggins test. This keeps equine infectious anemia (EIA) under control and ensures that horses that visit from other states are safe. Here is why you need to talk to your horse vet in Cannon Falls, MN and secure this important test before you travel.

Why a Coggins test?

EIA transmission happens primarily from deerflies and horseflies. Horses can also catch it through blood product transfusion and vet treatments involving improperly sterilized equipment.

Once they’ve caught EIA, horses may suffer acute or chronic infection or become inapparent carriers. Acutely infected horses suffer fever, lethargy and anorexia. They can develop anemia within 30 days of exposure. Chronically infected horses lose weight, suffer recurrent fevers and develop anemia.

The main concern that leads to mandatory Coggins tests is inapparent carriers—they show zero symptoms, but can infect other horses. The only way to prevent them from infecting other horses is to quarantine or euthanize them.

There are no specific antiviral treatments for EIA, so infected horses cannot travel between states unless they are returning to their farm of origin, a slaughter facility or an approved research facility. Once there, they will be placed under strict quarantine.

Preventing EIA

The Coggins test is the primary way to prevent the spread of EIA. If you run a boarding facility, require that all new arrivals show proof of a negative Coggins test result, and if horses travel frequently, require an annual test. You can also reduce the chance of infection with good fly control at your barn, whether that involves using traps or an organic solution like Fly Predators. Also, encourage area horse events to require Coggins tests for participation.

If you are purchasing a horse, require a Coggins test as part of your pre-purchase exam. It is better to be safe than sorry. Choose boarding facilities that also require Coggins tests. If your horse becomes infected, you risk their life and severely restrict where you can take them. It is simply not worth the risk.

Once your horse tests negative, your vet issues a travel health certificate. The negative results are good for six to twelve months, depending on the state’s regulations, although the health certificate allowing travel is good for 30 days. However, if you need us to issue another health certificate after those 30 days have passed, your Coggins results for the last six months are still good for the new certificate. You will not have to get another test until six months after your most recent results.

It requires five days to run a complete Coggins test and secure your paperwork for interstate travel, so you need to plan ahead. If you require a horse vet in Cannon Falls, MN to run a Coggins test, Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd. can help. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment and prepare your horse for interstate travel.