This may sound like a dumb question... but here goes:
Lots of shows require "Coggins Tests". What exactly is coggins?
Coggins is the name of the test. Its to check and see if the horse has been exposed to EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia)
Your vet will draw blood and send it to the state lab. It takes up to 6 weeks to get it back so plan accordingly.
I've never had a coggins take 6 weeks; usually 7-10 days is more like it. However, ask your veterinarian prior to scheduling it, so you know how long it should take. I've gotten most back within the 7 day window, and the longest I've had one take is 14 days. I have gotten some back as early as 3 days. I think it will depend on where you live, and how far you are away from the nearest test facility.
It is required for most shows, yes, but also if you ever plan on moving your horse out of state, or even to different boarding facilities, etc.
I agree with mom - about a week to get results. Frankly IMO coggins test is nothing but a money-making for the vets and labs. If one look into how many horses are sick with it. So far I haven't heard about any in all states around. Also it's valid for a year, but the horse may be healthy today and get it tomorrow and spread to other horses at the show. So I'd say somewhat pointless. With that being said I still do it as yes, it's required almost everywhere.
EIA to horses is like HIV is to humans. Transmitted through blood, milk and other bodily fluids.
Here's a map of distribution the past few years:
USDA - APHIS - Animal Health Monitoring & Surveillance - West Nile Virus Surveillance
Due to Coggins testing the numbers have gone down since they can pinpoint which horses have it and euthanize them to prevent it from spreading.
Coggins should take about a week to get back, sometimes 10 days depending on the lab. but, there is an overnight test that can be done in an emergency, at least our state vet lab does it. They will have the results the next day they receive the sample. It does cost more, but if you need it fast, it can be done. Can't remember the name of it, but your lab would know.
Actually, the proper name is negative coggins, but everyone just calls it a coggins.
You want it to be negative, because if it's positive your horse has EIA.
EIA is highly contagious and there's no known cure for it. Horses who have it are quarantined and usually euthanised to prevent its spread to other horses.
In Canada, I never had to do Coggins for anything. Never heard of it until I moved here.
I've been here for 4+ years now and have to do it every year or I wont beable to show, or move to a barn or yadda yadda yadda.
I think it is a waste of money though, beacuse your vet could draw blood at 12:00pm Monday afternoon, and then take that untainted blood to the lab. Just after the vet draws the untainted blood, a mosquito who is infected could bite your horse at 12:01pm and your horse is now infected, but you'd never know because the results that you'd get back would be negative.
So you could be infecting other horses throughout the whole season, without knowing it, and you could have an infected horse, without knowing it.
I do it because I have to, but I shake my fist at it. lol
Theoretically that's true MIE, but if everyone around you has a negative coggins for their horse, then the chances of your animal being infected are slim to none because any animal testing positive is normally destroyed.
That's the reason for the blood test; to find any positive animal early and get it out of the general population before it can affect anyone else.
Vets and state governments take a very hard stand on EIA, which is why it's been pretty much eradicated in the U.S. Destroy the carriers, and the disease has no hosts.
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