Coggins Testing

Coggins Testing

Coggins test for a virus called equine infectious anemia (EIA), sometimes called swamp fever. There is no vaccine, no effective treatment and no cure for EIA. Transmission is thru the blood from biting insects like mosquitoes or biting flies, contaminated needles or contaminated instruments.

There are many reasons why a coggins test would be needed – buying or selling a horse, moving to a new stable, transporting across state lines, any equine event can require you to have one.

We have been able to offer electronic coggins testing for the past year. Using a company called GlobalVetLink, which electronically connects to our diagnostic lab, results are much faster than with the paper version. Using this same company, we also electronically send health certificates. New this year, horse owners can download to view or print their horses coggins form. When making an appointment for coggins testing, please provide our office staff with your e-mail address to enable you to download your coggins.

If your horse had pictures taken last year, we can use the same photographs. If your horse is new to the practice and did not have a test last year, we will need to photograph your horse from the front, left and right sides.

Coggins FAQ :

Why do we have to test our horse for Coggins?

Coggins test for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), a viral disease spread by blood transmission; blood sucking insects like mosquitoes and blood sucking flies are the primary source of transmission. Shared needles and contaminated instruments are other sources of transmission.

EIA is a viral disease in the same class of viruses as HIV, but specific to horses (not transmissible to people). Like HIV, there are horses that have the disease for long periods of time before showing clinical disease. These nonclinical horses then serve as a source of disease for healthy horses. Coggins testing is designed to reduce the spread of EIA. Like HIV, EIA is a fatal disease and there is no prevention from vaccination. Insect control is the best we can hope for.

Coggins FAQ :

What happens if a positive test occurs?

The testing laboratory notifies the state veterinarians office and the state veterinarians office contacts the farm quarantining the farm. A retest of the positive horse is performed. If this repeat test is positive, all the horses on the facility are tested.

The state also visits any other farm within a quarter mile of the target farm to test horses on those farms (a mosquito may fly for a quarter mile). The farm remains under quarantine until the positive horse is deceased and all other horses are retested and negative at thirty days.

Coggins FAQ :

Which horses need to be tested?

  1. The state requires all horses sold to have a negative coggins test within the current year being December 1st to December 1st.
  2. Horses transported interstate – from one state to another state. Each state has their own length of requirement, most being for twelve months.
  3. USEF horses shows require a negative coggins within the past six months.
  4. Any equine event can require a negative coggins test but put any length of time, usually between six to twelve months.

EIA tests are required to be conducted at a federal approved laboratory. Most veterinarians in Michigan use either Michigan State University’s DCPAH laboratory or the Michigan Department of Agriculture Giegley Laboratory. When planning, give yourself a week for results from the time of blood draw.

Coggins FAQ :

Do you offer digital Coggins?

Absolutely! We offer digital Coggins thru Global Vetlink. Owners can download their results from the website