Equine Infectious Anemia

STEVE: Equine infections anemia is a problem known as swamp fever, its common name. This is a really serious problem, if you get it, mainly because you’re not going to have your horse anymore. The government tests this with a Coggins Test, named after the illustrious Dr. Coggins. It’s done routinely, at least, once a year. In some states it’s done every six months. Obviously, it’s a protozoan that’s transferred via vectors, mainly horse flies are the most commonly incriminated. The clinical symptoms are usually something chronic and no horse lasts long enough to see those symptoms anymore. The biggest problem that you have is that they become a carrier so therefore every time they get bit by a horse fly they can transfer it to other horses.

So the reason you want to test is because if you get an outbreak you will lose your horse. Eventually they will succumb to it and that horse will become infectious. So the only way that you can limit this problem at all is euthanasia of the individual. So if you get a positive test the state is going to go ahead and run that test again, and if it turns out that that horse is positive, it’s not a false positive, then you will have to euthanize your horse. So therefore the testing is imperative and the control of this particular problem on a regular basis is really going to be regulated hard by both state and local governments.

ALEX: So obviously it’s important when you talk about the Coggins Test, when you go across state lines if you’re going to a competition you have to have this Coggins Test.

STEVE: Oh yeah, it’s imperative that if you have any interstate travel it requires a current Coggins for that state. So the veterinarian filling out your health certificate is going to need to know the rules and the laws for were you’re traveling to or, at least, look it up and find out what is required for interstate travel for the health certificate. It’s very important.