Coggins (EIA) & Export (Health) Papers

Often people call looking to have blood drawn for a “Coggins” test. This can be required for many different purposes – to go to a show/event, to move to a new barn, or to cross the border.

A Coggins test is a blood test performed at an external laboratory for the disease Equine Infectious Anemia. It is not a common disease in this part of the world, so the chances of your horse testing positive are low, but the test is often required anyway as it is very serious if present.

A Coggins test may be considered “valid” for differing amounts of time, for different purposes. Here are some general guidelines:

For horseshows/rodeos/events – generally accepted if done in the same calendar year
For export to the USA/Mexico – considered valid for exactly 180 days from the date the blood was drawn (almost but not quite six months)
For Standardbred Canada – required to be done every 2 years

A Coggins test must be sent to the external lab, and thus requires at least a 3-day window for a faxed copy of the results. To have the original returned to you can take anywhere from 10-14 days. Please specify if you need your results in a hurry – we will do our best to get them back to you in time!

Export papers are a document that states a veterinarian has seen your horse and examined it for signs of clinical disease within 30 days. They are generally required if you need to take your horse across the border. The horse may leave Canada anytime within 30 days of the examination, and must return within 60 days. If the horse is going to stay in the USA/Mexico, a “permanent” designation can be indicated on the export certificate.

Export papers are filled out by the examining veterinarian, and then must be taken to the local CFIA office by the owner along with a copy of the current Coggins test to be validated by the CFIA veterinarian. This must be done prior to crossing the border.

If you have any questions about these procedures, please don’t hesitate to ask us!