Transportation Articles

• Traveling with Your Horse? Reduce the Red Tape
• Coggins Test
• Room to Breathe: Proper Ventilation for the Traveling Horse

Traveling with Your Horse? Reduce the Red Tape
by Lydia F. Miller, !M

(or at least understand what ou need and wh!
"dia #$ %iller& 'V%
(hether it)s a short distance or a long trip& ou)ve got a lot to thin* a+out an time ou haul our
horse$ ,etting all the right tests done and paperwor* filled out ma seem li*e a lot of e-tra time
and mone$ However& there are some ver good reasons wh these e-aminations and documents
are re.uired$ /n this article& ou)ll find out what ou need to travel and wh$
(hat You 0eed
There are three +road categories of travel: intrastate& interstate and international (the last is
+eond the scope of this article!$ 1lthough most states do not have regulations governing
intrastate travel& or& travel within the state of origin& some do$ 1nd depending upon our reason for
travel and our final destination& ou ma again find ourself needing the same *ind of
documentation that is re.uired for interstate travel& or& travel outside the state of origin$
#or e-ample& if ou are trailering our horse to a show& more than li*el the show officials will as*
to see a cop of our horse)s negative Coggins test& the most commonl used means of finding
anti+od to the e.uine infectious anemia (2/1! virus$ /f ou are transporting a horse to an auction&
the facilit ma re.uire that each horse +e accompanies + a health certificate& also *nown as a
Certificate of Veterinar /nspection (CV/!$ These certificates& which attest that the horse e-hi+its
no o+vious signs of disease on the da of inspection and are signed + our veterinarian& are
generall good for 34 das$
(hat changes when ou want to travel with our horse outside our own state? 0ot onl is a
negative 2/1 test re.uired for entr into all 54 states& it must +e performed at an accredited
la+orator (our veterinarian will *now which la+oratories are accredited!$ Your veterinarian will
also +e a+le to tell ou if our destination state re.uires this test +e performed within 67 months
of entr& 8 months or& for (isconsin& within the calendar ear (Hawaii re.uires the test +e
performed within three months of entr!$
1lso& with some e-ceptions that will +e pointed out later& all states re.uire that a health certificate
accompan horses entering their +orders$ 9ome re.uire that the horse)s +od temperature the
da of e-amination +e recorded on the health certificate and a few even re.uire proof of specific
vaccinations$ (hile our veterinarian is o+ligated to su+mit the health certificate to the origin state
veterinarian)s office prior to shipment& some states re.uire that an approved cop of the health
certificate +e su+mitted to the destination state veterinarian)s office after entr$
Horse owners in the states of C1& /'& %T& 0V& :R and (1 and horse owners in the states of T;&
1R& :< and %9 have an alternative method of compling with interstate health re.uirements$
These two groups of states have formed a reciprocal livestoc* health arrangement so that people
who travel fre.uentl with their horses +etween these neigh+oring states do not have to *eep
getting health certificates ever 34 das$ Horse owners in an of these states should contact their
veterinarian for details on the new si-=month CV/ and si-=month e.uine passport$
(h You 0eed /t
The >nited 9tates 'epartment of 1griculture)s (>9'1! 1nimal and Plant Health /nspection
9ervice (1PH/9! accredits veterinarians to carr out these and other services$ "ocal veterinarians
wor* with their state veterinarian and the 1rea Veterinarian=in=Charge (1V/C! to protect the health
and well=+eing of +oth ou and our horse + preventing& controlling and eradicating animal
disease$ /n recent ears& state and federal animal regulations have protected the >nited 9tates
e.uine industr from vesicular stomatitis& screwworm& piroplasmosis and& most recentl& (est
0ile 2ncephalitis$
?ust +ecause ou do not travel internationall or even interstate with our horse doesn)t mean
ou are safe from the effects of foreign (or not=so=foreign! animal diseases$ 2ven if our horse
does not come into direct contact with a sic* horse that has traveled e-tensivel& once an horse
shows signs of a reporta+le disease for that state& e.uine transportation from that location and
sometimes even from that state ma +e shut down$ Compling with our countr)s disease
prevention re.uirements helps *eep our national e.uine industr health and active$
#inall& compling with animal transport re.uirements not onl serves to protect our horse and
the horses he or she comes into contact with& it also las an e-cellent paper trail should there +e
an .uestion of our horse)s disease status$ Veterinar e-aminations& negative 2/1 test results&
+od temperature and vaccination records are all in one place for eas retrieval$
posted: 8@6A@7447$ "ast updated: 8@68@7443$

"oggins Test
by "harles #. $ssel, !M, %h

My horse was turned away &ro' a horse show because we didn(t have a
current negative "oggins test. $s it really that i'portant?
To answer the .uestion directl& ou were turned awa +ecause it is customar to monitor the
serum of horses for anti+odies to e.uine infectious anemia virus (2/1V!==and we use testing to
prevent the movement of virus carriers and spread of the infection caused + that lentivirus (a
virus that can cause slowl progressive& often fatal animal diseases!$
The Coggins test is the most commonl used means of finding anti+od to 2/1V& which causes a
persistent infection in horses$ There also are three rapid 2"/91 tests for 2/1$ 2"/91 test results
can +e o+tained within an hour$ 1 Coggins test result re.uires at least 7B hours$ Testing for 2/1
has +een done for more than 75 ears to identif virus carriers and to regulate their movement$
There are no treatments or vaccines for this lentivirus relative of H/V in humans$ (#or more
information on 2/1& see The Horse of 1ugust 6CCC$! 9ince there is no cure for the infection&
currentl the onl options for control of the spread of the infection are permanent .uarantine of
test=positive horses& or euthanasia$
The potential for spreading 2/1 is highest at congregation points li*e horse shows& when horses
are in close contact$ Transmission is generall effected + transfer of +lood +etween horses
through the interrupted feeding of insects& e$g$& horse flies$ To stop the spread of the infection and
disease& one must *now the status of each individual and control movement of test=positive
animals$ The highest=ris* scenario is a congregation point (such as a horse show& trail ride& or
other competition! that does not re.uire a negative test for 2/1$
1ctuall& a negative test result for 2/1 is onl accurate the da the +lood is ta*en$ /f our horse is
test=negative and all its contacts have +een& are& and will +e test=negative (as are all their
contacts!& we can rest assured that our horse will remain test=negative$ Therein lies the ru+$
Testing of 644D of our contacts is virtuall impossi+le$
/n >tah& infections with 2/1 have +een found in feral& free=roaming horses$ Routine testing for 2/1
of domesticated horses at ris* has not occurred in that area historicall$ (hen domestic and wild
horses intermingle& there is ris* of 2/1 infection either +eing introduced + the domesticated
horses into the wild population& or the other wa around$ %ost li*el +oth circumstances could
The greatest ris* of ac.uiring 2/1 toda in the >nited 9tates is from the Euntested reservoirE
population$ (hile some states have annual testing& no one has +een successful in testing 644D
of the horses in their Furisdiction$ To test ever e.uid would allow us to eradicate 2/1 from the
population$ 2ach state has its own set of regulations to monitor 2/1$ /n some areas& testing has
+een done on a regular +asis over a long period of time& with ver few positive cases found in
recent ears$ This is the case in the northeast& for e-ample& from %aine to %arland& where an
average of two horses out of nearl 744&444 tested each ear has +een positive$ 2vidence of a
negative test for 2/1 is re.uired to move a horse on a pu+lic road in the state of 0ew Yor*==
regulations such as these have thwarted the spread of the infection and disease$
/ recommend that all horses considered for purchase have evidence of a recent negative test for
2/1$ /f there are .uestions a+out the status of all the previous contacts of the horse& we
recommend the sale +e contingent on a second negative test a+out B5 das after the transfer$
:ne idea to help increase testing for and awareness of 2/1 is for the states to grant a ErewardE to
owners who remove test=positives from their herds$

Charles J. Issel, DVM, PhD, is the Wright-Markey Professor of Equine Infectious Diseases at the
Gluck Equine esearch Center, !ni"ersity of #entucky.
posted: 8@6A@7447$ "ast updated: 8@6A@7447$

Roo' to )reathe* %roper !entilation &or the Traveling
by Andrew e+o'e, !M

1s show and rodeo season starts in full swing& man horse owners dutifull prepare their horses
for traveling + wrapping legs with protective covering& chec*ing that the trailer flooring is sound&
and ma*ing sure their horses are securel tied==all with thoughts of protecting the health and
welfare of their valua+le cargo$ However& few give much thought to a ver important
consideration==what can +e done to protect their horseGs lungs? Transporting horses for long
distances can +e a contri+uting factor in the development of respirator disease& which can last
long after the trip is over$
Ris, Factors
Horses consume less ha and water while traveling& and when transported for e-tended periods
of time& the can +ecome dehdrated$ 'ehdration can impair pulmonar defense mechanisms
that normall clear infectious material$ 1dditionall& horses confined with their heads elevated
have decreased clearance of infectious material simpl due to gravit$ 9urfactant levels& an
important su+stance in the lungs that helps prevent infection in the alveoli& also are decreased in
horses transported for e-tended periods$ The num+er of white +loods cells also increases after
transportH however& these cells fre.uentl are less effective at removing +acteria from the +lood
and airwas$ Trans=tracheal washes performed on horses after transport revealed an increase in
+acterial num+ers in the lower respirator tract$ Conse.uentl& horses are e-posed to higher
num+ers of +acteria in their lower airwas at a time when their pulmonar defense mechanisms
have +een impaired + transport$
:ther factors that contri+ute to the development of respirator disease in horses +eing
transported are environmental factors$ 1mmonia& particulate matter from +edding and feed&
car+on mono-ide& temperature e-tremes& poor ventilation& and overcrowding all pla a role in
damaging airwas and decreasing resistance to disease$
The stress of trailering also contri+utes to disease$ Blood cortisol levels are increased in horses
after transport (cortisol is a hormone produced + the +od in higher .uantities during times of
stress!$ Particularl at ris* are oung horses up to three ears of age$ 9tress that has occurred
prior to transport& such as weaning& showing& racing& or an endurance competition& can +e an
important factor& as well$ 1 horse which alread is mildl dehdrated and stressed prior to +eing
loaded in a trailer might not have ade.uate reserves to deal with added e-posure and the stress
of a long trailer ride$
The severit of respirator disease associated with transport can var from mild upper airwa
inflammation to severe& life=threatening +ronchopneumonia or pleuropneumonia$ The primar
+acteria to which horses are e-posed during transport are $tre%tococcus species and those in
the Pasteurella and Entero&acteria families$ Respirator viruses include influenIa and
rhinopneumonitis$ Horses coming from show& race& or sale environments might +e e-posed prior
to +eing loaded& then develop disease secondar to transport$
Horses should +e monitored after transport for the development of respirator disease$ 9igns to
loo* for include cough& nasal discharge& fever& depression& and decreased appetite$ Call our
veterinarian if our horse develops an of these signs$
,ood management and transport procedures will help minimiIe our horseGs ris* of developing
respirator disease$ Thorough cleaning of trailers and vans +etween loads of horses will help
prevent the transfer of +acteria and viruses among different horses and decrease the overall
num+er of infectious organisms to which horses are e-posed$ 1llowing horses short rest stops
during a long trip will help +oost their defenses$ Resting at least once in a 7B=hour period is an
a+solute minimumH however& more fre.uent stops of ever si- to eight hours are good for ou and
our horse$E Horses should +e unloaded at these stops& given access to ha and water& and
encouraged to lower their heads$ /nade.uate trailer ventilation will allow infectious and particulate
material to +uild up in the air& as well as contri+ute to overheating$ 'ust ha and +edding&
especiall with small leaves or shaving siIe& should not +e used in a trailer +ecause of the
particulate that will +low around when the trailer is moving$ %old ha also adds particulate and
allergenic material to the air in our trailer$ Be sure to clean all ha out after trailering to prevent
mold ha on the ne-t trip$
Vaccination plas an important role in preventing influenIa and rhinopneumonitis$ Boosters
should +e given ever 84=C4 das to horses which are at high ris* to e-posure& and horses
should +e current on vaccinations within 64=6B das of em+ar*ing on a long trip$
Horses do not full recover from long distance transport for several das$ 1ccordingl& a period of
rest following prolonged trailering will allow a horse to recover and regain full immune function$
This rest period is even more critical in those horses which were stressed prior to +eing
transported$ 'uring this rest period& ou still need to monitor our horses for an changes in
attitude& appetite& or the development of a nasal discharge or cough$
1lthough horse owners cannot control all elements& *eeping in mind these few guidelines will help
diminish the chance of respirator pro+lems developing in our horse after tranportation$
'n(re) De*o+e, DVM, is a ,--. gra(uate of Washington $tate !ni"ersity, currently li"ing in
/ak(ale, Calif., an( he is affiliate( )ith Pioneer Equine 0os%ital.
A'erican Association o& -.uine %ractitioners
/012 $ron 3or,s %i,e
Le4ington, 5Y /0266
78089 :;;<06/1
posted: 8@6A@7447$ "ast updated: 8@6A@7447$

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