Next Saturday our veterinarian will be coming out to Spur of the Moment Ranch to coggins test and vaccinate our horses and donkeys. The coggins test is required as a means of finding the antibody to EIAV, which causes a persistent infection in horses. The test has been used for over 25 years to identify virus carriers and regulate their movement. The lentivirus of which there are no treatments or vaccines is relative to HIV in humans. Since there is no cure, the only option for control of the spread of the infection is permanent quarantine or euthanasia of positive test horses. Information for this blog taken from http://www.aaep.org/health_articles_view.php?id=139.
The highest risk for spreading the virus are when horses are in close contact i.e. shows, trail rides etc. Transfer of the disease is generally caused by insects i.e. horse flies, mosquitos moving between horses, transfering blood from one to another. According to the AAEP the coggins test is only accurate on the day the blood is drawn, making it important to be sure that all of the horses your horse comes in contact with have negative coggins as well. Coggins tests in Wisconsin are renewed each calendar year on January 1rst before our travel season begins with the intent to make sure that our horses are only coming in contact with test-negative horses. For more indepth information see http://www.aaep.org/health_articles_view.php?id=139.
When bringing your horse to the Spur of the Moment Ranch, you will be asked for a copy of current coggins. If you forget to put it in your trailer, it is possible to phone your veterinarian and they can email it or fax it to us, we have done this many times. Last year, a few of our regulars began emailing them to the ranch prior to their arrival. Whatever is easiest for the trail rider is fine with us as long as the test is done; and recorded prior to arrival. Thanks to everyone for their diligence in this matter.