EIA (Coggins) Testing Rules

Normally, a HAPPY NEW YEAR also brings about a HAPPY COGGINS SEASON for horse-lovers, but this year is a little different in Wisconsin. Remember that the rules for Coggins testing, which is a test for Equine Infectious Anemia, changed their effective date regulations last June. Now, your negative Coggins test is effective for 12 months, regardless of when it was drawn. So, for a quick example:

2014 Coggins Drawn: 1/3/2014

Coggins Effective Until: 1/3/2015

Date you need a new coggins: 1/3/2015, or prior to your first travel/show


As a reminder, there are some horses that don’t need a negative coggins test while traveling. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection says that, effective March 1, 2014, for fairs/exhibitions, organized trail rides or training seminars, or a sale or transfer of ownership, “equines must have proof of a negative EIA test within the previous 12 months… No EIA test is required for nursing foals accompanying an EIA negative dam as long as the nursing status is identified on the CVI.”

The Coggins test

The Coggins test, so named for the veterinarian who developed the diagnostic test, Dr. Leroy Coggins, tests for EIA. EIA is primarily transmitted through biting flies, but can also be transmitted by contaminated equipment, saliva, milk, etc. EIA is often referred to as the “country cousin” of the human disease HIV. Symptoms of the disease sometimes include fever, anemia, overall weakness, and swelling of the chest and abdomen. While the United States has a very low rate of incidence, most states and horse shows do require a negative Coggins test to be allowed entrance.

For a coggins test to be completed, a licensed veterinarian needs to draw the blood, and take pictures of the horse’s left and right side, as well as face. The veterinarian needs to document all markings on your horse as well, so you can help them out with that! For the actual paperwork, we just need to know the horse’s name, name and address of owner, name and address of the stable, and the age, breed, and sex of your horse. Please note, we cannot change the name on an EIA certificate after it is created – we would have to do a completely new blood draw! So help your veterinarian out and make sure they know how to spell your horse’s name!

Accessing your Coggins and Health Certificates Online

In order to be most efficient and give you easy access to your horse’s health records, we use Global Vet Link to store information about your horses, your contact information, and all negative Coggins tests and Health Certificates. Creating your own FREE account is valuable as you will be able to retrieve your Coggins certificates from any computer with internet access.  To begin:

  1. Go to www.myvetlink.com
  2. Click on “Sign Up” in the upper right hand corner
  3. Select “Accept” to agree to the terms and conditions for using GlobalVetLink’s website
  4. Enter your email address in the search field and click “Register”
  5. After your email address has been confirmed you will see a temporary password in red, and a message will be sent to your email address
  6. Leave the window with your temporary password open, and retrieve the email that was sent to your email address
  7. Open the email from GlobalVetLink and click on the link provided in blue. (The link is valid for 30 minutes. If the link expires repeat steps 1-6)
  8. After clicking the link within the email you will be asked to enter the temporary red password from the original window
  9. You will be asked to create a username and new password
  10. The username can be anything but we suggest something as easy as your first initial and last name. (Ex. jsmith)
  11. The password must be at least 7 characters long and contain at least 1 number, 1 letter, and 1 special character (Ex. jsmith1! )

 If you need further assistance please call us at 608-845-6006, or for website problems, call Global Vet Link (515) 296-3779

By Kelly Danner