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Lab Testing

Fox Valley Equine Practice provides a wide range of in-office routine blood, urine, and fecal tests, as well as advanced diagnostic tests that are sent out to specialized laboratories.  We annually offer discounted pricing on lab work during the months of January and February.

We have recently added an in-house lab so that CBC and blood chemistry tests can be run for same day results.  We also do fecal egg counts, tests for failure or passive transfer on newborns, and other tests as they become available.  In addition, we selectively choose outside labs for specialized tests, depending on their areas of expertise, giving us the most accurate results with the best turnaround times.

Each client receives copies of all their lab work with their statements and we now perform electronic Coggins tests, health certificates, and health records.

Did you know?

The test for EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia) is referred to as a Coggins test. The name comes from the veterinarian who invented the test in the 1970’s, Dr. Leroy Coggins.

Coggins Testing

Almost all competitions and other large organized equestrian gatherings such as trail rides require a negative Coggins within the last twelve months. For any interstate travel as well as international travel, an up-to-date negative Coggins test is needed to accompany health papers that are supplied by your veterinarian. Most boarding stables and training barns also require a negative Coggins before a new horse is introduced.

Health Certificates

A Health Certificate, and a current Coggins, is required by each state when you are traveling to, or through it with your horse. Health certificates are issued to a horse by a veterinarian. The Health Certificate states that at the time the veterinarian examined the horse, the horse was in good health and appeared free of infectious disease.

Usually, Health Certificates are good for 30 days after they are issued, but it is always good to check with a state’s department of agriculture to get their requirements as some states differ. If you are traveling to a horse show, the show itself may have different requirements, so it is wise to call ahead.

Stable Lab Serum Amyloid A Blood Test

Fox Valley Equine recently acquired a stall-side kit which is used to test for Serum Amyloid A, a bio-marker that elevates in cases of infection.  Stable Lab has developed this new approach to diagnostics and treatment which will aid in making better decisions sooner. If infection is indicated, this simple blood test allows our vets to start antibiotics earlier.  If no infection is indicated, unnecessary treatment is avoided, if no infection is indicated.  We can also use this test to indicate if current antibiotics are working. Fox Valley Equine is pleased to be able to offer this service to it’s clients.

Fecal Examinations

The fecal examination has historically been one of the most under-utilized tools in an effective parasite control program. Since the adult worms are rarely visible in the manure, the number and type of parasite eggs present in the manure sample should be quantified. Some parasite species can lay more than 200,000 eggs a day, so parasite loads can escalate quickly in pastures, stalls, and in the environment.

There are more than 150 internal parasites that afflict horses; the most common and troublesome are strongyles (large and small varieties), ascarids, pinworms, bots, tapeworms, threadworms and lungworms. Based on the quantity of parasite eggs in the fecal sample, recommendations for deworming, management, and follow-up testing will be made for each horse. Please call for more information about proper collection, storage, and transport of the sample.

It is recommended that all horses have a fecal examination periodically to ensure proper parasite management on each farm. Testing should occur in the warmer months and should be timed properly depending on the last date and medication used to deworm.

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Endocrine (Hormonal) Testing & Treatment

Many horse owners have heard of laminitis, and may even have direct experience with this frustrating condition. Inflammation of the laminae, a certain part of the hoof structure, leads to crippling lameness. This can be difficult to control or treat, and often results in euthanasia of affected animals. Desire to avoid laminitis episodes lead many owners to routinely test endocrine, or hormone, function in their horses.

Two hormones in particular, when elevated, can lead directly to crippling lamintis: insulin and ACTH (AdrenoCorticoTrophic Hormone). Elevated insulin levels can indicate insulin dysregulation, which may affect a horse of any age and especially ponies, minis, Morgans, Tennessee Walking Horses, although any breed may be affected. Elevated ACTH levels are indicative of PPID (Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction, or Equine Cushing’s), and an older horse may be affected by this condition even without the classic hair coat and shedding changes with which many owners are familiar.

Intervention with medication, diet and management changes can help to avoid or lessen the effects of endocrine dysfunction and therefore avoid laminitis. Contact FVEP to discuss risks and testing for your horse.

Allergy Testing & Immunotherapy

Allergic reactions in horses may be manifested as long-standing hives, skin issues or respiratory problems. A non-invasive blood test can test for allergies to various molds, trees, weeds, insects, grasses, and foods. When possible, these allergens can be eliminated or reduced from the horse’s environment. When it is impossible to reduce the allergen in the environment, immunotherapy (allergy shots) can be ordered for the horse’s individual allergies and given over time to help improve the reaction to those allergens.