What Is Coggins?

Are you curious to know what is coggins? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about coggins in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is coggins?

What Is Coggins?

In the equestrian world, Coggins refers to a crucial test and certification designed to safeguard horses against a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease called Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), also known as swamp fever. The Coggins test, named after Dr. Leroy Coggins, who developed it in the 1970s, is a fundamental tool in preventing the spread of this viral disease among horses.

Understanding Equine Infectious Anemia (Eia):

  • Nature of the Disease: EIA is a viral infection that affects horses, donkeys, and mules. It is transmitted primarily through blood-to-blood contact, often via biting insects like horseflies and deerflies, or through contaminated needles or equipment.
  • Symptoms and Impact: Horses infected with EIA may exhibit varying symptoms, including fever, weakness, weight loss, anemia, and in severe cases, organ failure. While some infected horses show no visible signs, they remain carriers of the disease, posing a risk of spreading the virus to other equines.

The Role Of The Coggins Test:

  • Purpose: The Coggins test detects antibodies against the EIA virus in a horse’s blood. It is used to identify infected horses and carriers, even if they do not display symptoms, helping prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Testing Process: A veterinarian collects a blood sample from the horse and sends it to a certified laboratory for analysis. The test results indicate whether the horse is negative (not infected), positive (infected), or in some cases, suspect (requiring further testing).

Importance Of Coggins Certification:

  • Travel and Competition: Many equestrian events, horse shows, and competitions require horses to have a negative Coggins test within a specified timeframe (usually within the past 12 months) for entry. This measure aims to protect the health of horses and prevent the spread of EIA among equine populations.
  • Quarantine and Management: Infected horses identified through the Coggins test are often quarantined or managed separately to prevent transmission to other horses and minimize the risk of spreading the disease.


The Coggins test stands as a cornerstone in the effort to control Equine Infectious Anemia, ensuring the health and safety of horses within the equestrian community. Its implementation helps horse owners, trainers, and event organizers maintain a healthy equine population while preventing the spread of this potentially devastating disease.

Through regular testing, responsible horse care practices, and adherence to Coggins certification requirements, the equestrian community works collectively to protect equine health, allowing horses to thrive in a safer and more secure environment.


What Is Coggins For A Horse?

A Coggins test is a blood test to identify if a horse is a carrier of Equine Infectious Anemia, a viral disease found in horses. A negative Coggins test is required for all travel between states and at most equine facilities.

Can A Horse Recover From Coggins?

Oglesby, DVM. Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease for which there is no vaccine and no cure. Though most horses succumb rapidly to EIA a percentage of infected horses appear to recover.

Is Coggins Contagious?

How does a horse become infected? EIA is not contagious to humans and it is not directly contagious from horse to horse. Transmission of EIAV occurs by the spread of blood from an infected horse to that of a non-infected horse. This occurs most commonly through blood-sucking insects, such as horseflies and deer flies.

What Happens If A Coggins Test Is Positive?

Because of this, horses that test positive for Equine Infectious Anemia must be either euthanized or branded and strictly quarantined at least 200 yards away from other horses for the rest of their life. They may also be sent to a research facility if neither of the previous options sound suitable.

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