April 24, 2018
Reader Says Coggins Test Is Essential To The Editor: Don Blazer's article about testing for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) troubled me. Maybe I missed the intent, but I fail to see where the Coggins test is a political issue or the financial security of any veterinarians. I feel the Coggins test is a useful, essential weapon in the horseman's arsenal of medical commodities. Simply put, it identifies horses exposed to the EIA virus - horses that most likely can spread the disease. It's common sense to avoid contact with those positive horses because contact means probable infection. There's no cure for EIA, and may never be because the virus is tricky and research is limited, but it can be contained and that is where the Coggins test is invaluable. One, just one, positive-tested horse is a significant threat. I know of a nice breeding operation that was destroyed because of one positive horse. The financial and emotional loss was extensive. As for me, I will continue to test my horses for EIA. I will continue to avoid any gathering of horses where a negative Coggins is not required. I will not buy a horse that has not been recently tested. I will not allow anyone to use possibly contaminated equipment on my horses because it's not only biting bugs that transfer the virus. I feel it is the responsibility of all horse owners to educate themselves about EIA and other communicable diseases and to know the Coggins status of their horses as well as that of the horse with which they are in contact. The risk is just far too great. Sincerely, Kay Frederick Booneville, Miss.
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