Coggins Testing

The Coggins test – lots of horses get them annually but what do they actually mean? Let’s focus on this important test and why results are monitored on a national level.

🩸 A Coggins test looks for antibodies to the Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) virus. EIA is a highly contagious disease that is often fatal. Rarely, horses can survive the acute illness and become a chronic shedder of the virus.

🩺 There is no treatment or cure for EIA. To date, the disease has been controlled through federally mandated containment measures. Any horse that tests positive to EIA must be euthanized or maintained in a strict, lifelong quarantine.

🦠 The virus is transmitted through blood from an infected horse entering the body of another horse. This typically happens from biting flies, such as horse flies or deer flies. Transmission can also occur if blood-contaminated materials, such as IV needles, are reused on multiple horses.

⚗️Two types of Coggins tests are available. The “regular Coggins” is termed an AGID and supplies the most reliable results. The “rush Coggins” is an ELISA test and gives results several days faster than the AGID.

📅 Coggins tests are performed annually to screen for disease carriers in the population. A negative Coggins test is required to cross state lines and to enter most equine facilities.

Learn more about Coggins and Health Certificates for equine travel.