How Much Does a Coggins Test Cost?
A Coggins test, while foreign to the rest of us, is something of common knowledge to horse owners. Aside from the grooming, the food, and the veterinary care that owners must think about, there are some state regulations that need to be considered as well. One of these regulations is conducting a Coggins test on your horse at least once a year.
The Coggins test is done in order to determine if your horse is positive for the Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) virus. Also known as swamp fever, EIA is a viral disease caused by blood-sucking flies. The infected horse usually acquires fever, depression, weight loss, anemia, and dependent edema. With such hazardous health risks, Coggins test must be done to horses not only to ensure their overall well-being, but to eliminate the risk of spreading the virus to other horses.
How much does it cost?
- As the regulations for conducting Coggins test vary from one state to another, the prices for the test will vary as well. The best way to determine the price for the test is to visit your veterinarian. However, the costs for the Coggins test range from $20 to $30. Higher prices may be charged in some areas. In fact, forums at HorseTrailerWorld.com revealed that there are some horse owners who have paid between $45 and $60 for a single Coggins test.
- The same price range is supported by the forums at HorseGroomingSupplies.com. According to this site, the price of a Coggins test varies largely according to the vet who will perform the test. However, the average price is around $25.
What is going to be included?
- According to EQGroup.com, the Coggins test checks for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) antibodies in the horse’s blood. Basically, the vet takes blood samples from the horse and tests these in a state approved laboratory. In many cases, this is his own lab in his office; in other cases, the samples will actually be sent away. The test is simply done to make sure that your horse is safe for travel or to be around with other horses.
- HorseChannel.com says that the frequency of taking the test varies from the regulation of the specific state in the country. If you travel with your horse for competition or for any reason, you will probably need a new Coggins pulled each year. If you travel across state lines, you may need a new one every six months. If your horse never leaves your property, you will likely only need one every two or three years. Since regulations vary, it is always wise to consult your vet.
What are the extra costs?
- Farm Call. As a horse owner, you have the option to personally bring the horse into the vet or have the vet visit your farm. The latter is usually referred to as farm call. This is favorable if you have several horses to do the test. Farm call depends on the vet’s rate as well. This usually costs you another $20 to $70 dollars on average.
- Other vaccines. There are times when your vet discovers that aside from the virus there are other potentially harmful diseases that your horse may develop. Thus, vaccines may be needed. If this is the case, you need to buy whatever is required by your vet to ensure the health of your horse.
- Health certificate. Most needed when you are traveling with your horse or for competition, health certificates from vets are very important. This may cost around $15 to $20.
Factors that influence the price:
- Location. As mentioned, the prices for the test differ from one state to another. Thus, you should know the average price for the test in your area so as not to be robbed of your money.
- Veterinarian. Like any other doctors, veterinarians have their individual rate per hour or per procedure done. It is a known fact that some vets charge higher than others.
Tips to know:
- Also known as the Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) test, the Coggins test is named as such since it was developed by Dr. Leroy Coggins of Cornell University. Although the test can also be called as EIA test, it is commonly deemed as Coggins Test.
- There are three different sets of symptoms that occur in Equine Infectious Anemia: acute, chronic and the asymptomatic carrier. Acute involves fever, depression, and loss of appetite among horses. However, it is difficult to diagnose if the horse has an acute EIA since he will not be positive on the EIA test for about a month and a half.
- Statistics says that about one third of infected horses will die of the acute form within a month.
- Some states in the country now require a negative Coggins test on a horse before he/she can be sold.
- It must be noted that there is no vaccine for Equine Infectious Anemia. The test is only done to check if the horse is negative of the virus. However, no anti-virus shot will be given to your horse. The test is done to stop the spread of the disease, not to cure the infected horse.
How can I save money?
- If you have a family vet, then see if you are eligible for any discounts for loyalty or frequency of use. If you have multiple horses, you should be able to get a break on the price per horse or perhaps get a farm call for no extra charge.
- If you share the barn with other horse owners, you may want to share the vet’s call fee. This will reduce the expense slightly as the vet will have many horses to test.