What You NEED to Know about Coggins:
1. A Coggins Test diagnoses Equine Infectious Anemia
The Low Down on Coggins
Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a viral infection that manifests itself in one of three clinical syndromes: acute infection, chronic infection, or inapparent carrier. Acutely infected horses show fever, lethargy, and anorexia as well as the hematologic abnormalities of thrombocytopenia and potentially anemia within 30 days of exposure. Horses that are chronically infected have the classic signs of recurrent fever, weight loss, ventral edema, and anemia.
Diagnosis of EIA is either by the more popular Coggins Test or by the C-ELISA test. During the acute phase diagnosis is difficult as most horses due not seroconvert until 40 days after infection. Most EIA seropositive horses are clinically normal and never show any recognizable clinical signs. While these horses are inapparent carriers of the virus they remain infected for life with circulating infectious virus in their blood and remain a threat to other horses for the rest of their lives. The above reasons are why testing is so important. Horses testing positive for EIA must be quarantined, euthanized, or transported to a recognized research laboratory.
Transmission of EIA occurs primarily by transmission from feeding insects such as horseflies and deerflies. However EIA can also be transmitted with blood product transfusion and previously used or improperly sterilized needles, surgical instruments, dental equipment, or any other blood contaminated materials. The virus is and can be transmitted across the placenta to infect foals.
No specific antiviral therapy for EIA is available at this time. Horses that are infected are prohibited from interstate travel unless going back to the farm of origin (these horses must be under strict quarantine), going to slaughter, or to a diagnostic laboratory or approved research facility.
In order to run a Coggins test on your horse you need to allocate at least 5 business days in advance.