February 2009

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
By Charlene B. Cook DVM

Perhaps we should say a picture makes a great Coggins test. A Coggins test is a blood test for the disease Equine Infectious Anemia. The disease is caused by a virus and is transmitted by biting flies, mosquitos, dirty needles etc. There is no vaccination and no treatment. Horses who contract the virus may remain carriers but will eventually die. Our only way to control this disease is to test horses and remove or isolate carriers. All states require a Coggins to cross the state line. Horse shows, events, trail rides, sales and nearly all organized equine events require a current Coggins test. Georgia law requires that all boarding and training stables maintain a current Coggins test on all horses. In most cases a Coggins test is good for 12 months but some states and shows require closer testing.

You are probably very familiar with the standard Coggins test forms, those yellow papers with a drawing of your horses' markings. The forms are actually 5 pages thick and require a significant amount of pressure to go through all 5 copies. Frequently the markings on the owners' copy were incomplete or shifted due to so many pieces of paper. If you lost your Coggins test document it required a photocopy from the veterinarians' office which then had to be notarized. To complete a Coggins test the form had to be mailed with the blood sample to the lab. The blood was tested and the results were placed on the form by the lab and then the form was mailed back to the veterinarians' office. Finally the veterinarians' office would mail the owner their copy. If all went well you could expect the get your Coggins test back in 7 business days.

Not any more. By using the Global VetLink service 3 photographs of your horse are taken, 1 photo of the right and left sides and 1 photo from the front. A blood sample is drawn from your horse just as before. The veterinarians' office enters all of the horse, owner and clinic data online to the Global VetLink site. The blood is mailed to the lab for testing. The lab then downloads the blood test results to Global VetLink who completes the Coggins test and mails them electronically to the veterinarians' office. The final Coggins test is sent electronically via email to the owner of the horse. In most cases a Coggins test is now complete in 3 days.

It gets even better. Have you ever lost your Coggins test? Global VetLink maintains a website where the owner can download another copy of the Coggins test if the original is ever lost or stolen. The photographs are in color so there is no possibility of mistaking the horse in the picture. The markings come from the photographs so the accuracy of identifying the horse is improved. The photographs might also help to identify the horse if it ever lost or stolen.

Coming soon... electronic health certificates!

New Arrivals

Central Georgia Equine Services welcomed a new colt by The Whole Nine Yards out of our mare Generator Pushed Me by Pride's Generator. The sorrel colt with a flaxen mane and tail is the spitting image of his sire.

Debbie Dubois was suddenly thrown into motherhood when her mare died after delivering her new foal. The new foal was moved into the garage and the entire family including Grandma pitched in to bottle feed the foal. Monteen Rose is now more than a member of the family and is growing prettier by the day.

Christina Ortiz was head over heels about her new filly sired by The Secret out of her mare A Sweet Berry. Christina has her sights set another world championship with this beautiful filly, she should know as she has raised several world champions.

Mark Stevens breeds fine straight Egyptian horses. Disaster struck in December 2008 when Minstrala's Mali suffered a uterine torsion which required surgical correction. Mali subsequently developed placentitis which threatened to abort the fetus. After months of treatment at CGES he was rewarded with a beautiful colt by Thee Infidel.

Ruth Sullivan gave up her show mare last year to raise her next show horse. She was delighted when Full Color had a gorgeous new colt by Friendly Conversation.

Friends We Have Lost

Buck and Elaine Carter said a tearful goodbye after weeks of trying to save Freckles Buckwheat after a shoulder fracture. Fondly known as Spook, he had been a member of the family for many years.

Debbie and Brent Dubois had a horrifying experience when their mare Diamond herniated her intestine in a foaling accident. Fortunately the filly had survived and they were able to save her.

Desert Scout has been loved and enjoyed by Louise Jones for many years. They had logged many miles riding together. Sadly, colic claimed the life of this lovely Arabian mare.

Sandra & Gary Winters bid a fond farewell to 25 year old Chelsea after she succumbed to colic.

We hope you enjoyed our newsletter and invite you to make suggestions on future issues.