A lot of people ask, what is a Coggins? A Coggins test is a blood test used to screen for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The name Coggins comes from Dr. Leroy Coggins of Cornell University who developed the first accurate laboratory procedure for diagnosing EIA in 1970. EIA weakens the horse’s immune system, is spread by biting insects, and has no cure. Years ago, EIA was decimating the horse industry, so the government started requiring testing to monitor for the presence of the disease. To this day, a negative Coggins is required to travel with your horse anywhere. In New York, this test is valid for up to two calendar years (it is valid for the year the blood was drawn and the following calendar year). In Massachusetts, this test is valid for up to one year. Requirements may be even more strict depending on where you are traveling. Remember, most places also require valid health certificates when traveling from out of state. Microchip numbers (and registry numbers if you would like) can be added to the Coggins form.
ECO has partnered with GlobalVetLink since 2007 for creating electronic Coggins forms for our clients. This system allows us to utilize digital photographs of your horse rather than relying on our ability to draw all your horse’s unique markings! These pictures can be used year after year as long as your horse does not change significantly (i.e., develop other permanent markings like a scar or a gray horse that continues to get lighter in color over the years). Another benefit to using GlobalVetLink is having access to your horse’s Coggins even when the office is closed! Please be aware, once a Coggins test is finalized, it cannot be altered without re-testing (at the owner’s expense). This includes collecting a new blood sample and pictures.
To access your horse’s Coggins, please go to www.myvetlink.com and follow the directions found under the Help section. We need to have your email address stored with the Coggins form for you to access it so be sure to provide us with your email address when we come to do the blood draw for the Coggins.
To be more efficient at your appointment, know which horses will need to have their pictures taken AND have them ready. They should be relatively free of mud and dirt and naked (no blankets, no bell boots, and no bandages).
It can take up to two weeks for your completed Coggins form to arrive in your mailbox. Please schedule your appointment early to avoid any possible delays in getting your paperwork.
Emergency Coggins: ECO offers an “Emergency” Coggins. We can have results to you within one business day of the blood draw provided you deliver the blood and paperwork to the the ECO office before 2:00 pm Monday-Thursday; if delivery is 2:00 pm or later, the results will be available within two business days. This test is available for an increased fee and is not done through Global Vet Link. The completed form can be faxed to you after the test is finished, or you may make arrangements to pick it up
Health Certificates: Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVI), more commonly known as “health certificates,” are required for each horse when traveling out of state (or country). Most horse shows are also starting to require CVI’s for horses entered to compete regardless of their origin. Health certificates are traditionally valid for 30 days, although some shows have more stringent requirements (like 72 hours). For a health certificate/CVI to be written, ECO needs to examine your horse to ensure that he/she is healthy. We must also have a current negative Coggins test and need the following information:
- Origin/current location of the horse
- Owner information (if separate from the origin)
- Destination-full address with zip code required
- Shipping date
- Shipper-who is shipping your horse? If commercial, address of the shipper
- Vaccine history, especially since some states/shows require specific vaccines prior to entry.
- Reason for shipping-such as sale, permanent move, show…
Please note, some states require an entry permit as well. This necessitates that we call the state offices of the destination state to get this permit number. For international travel, ECO must send all paperwork to the USDA for prior approval (which takes at least five business days). ECO does not currently offer an electronic option for CVI’s, so please plan accordingly when you request one and allow us at 7-10 days to get this process completed. The CVI may need to be mailed to you upon completion or may need to be picked up at our office.