Here are more detailed descriptions of a few of the more common equine lab tests we run to detect problems your horse.
Selenium is a nutrient horses need to maintain proper muscle function. In the Willamette Valley soils are very low in selenium. It is often added to grain, vitamins and mineral blocks to help horses maintain normal blood levels. Even with oral supplementation some horses can have low selenium levels which can lead to back soreness, lameness, immune problems and a dull hair coat. If your horse shows any of these clinical signs, he or she should have their selenium levels tested. Horses that have had low selenium levels in the past should also be tested once yearly. Increasing blood selenium levels can be accomplished with a combination of the right oral supplements. Blood levels should be checked before increasing selenium levels in the diet because high levels can also be toxic.
Preventive Parasite Screen (Fecal)
This simple, inexpensive test provides you with very important information about your horses health and effectiveness of your deworming program. A fecal test is a microscopic examination of parasite eggs in fresh manure. This evaluation can tell us what parasites are present and how many.
This test is the critical first step in your Strategic Deworming Program.
- Small Strongyles: The #1 internal parasite problem in horses today. This parasite has the ability to encyst into the intestinal lining for up to three years which enables this parasite to evade the effects of most dewormers. Small Stongyles can be ingested to your horse from larvae on pastures.
- Large Strongyles (bloodworms)
- Botfly Larva
- Ascarids (roundworms)
10 Signs of a Parasite Infected Horse
- Weight loss
- Rough hair coat
- Recurring Colic
- Poor Appetite
- Listlessness, Poor Appetite
- Swollen Legs
- Decreased performance
Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a viral disease for which there is no vaccine and no cure. To insure that an animal is not harboring the virus a simple test is performed, the Coggins test. The Coggins test checks for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) antibodies in your horse’s blood. Blood samples must be sent to a laboratory approved by the state. Often this test is needed to take your horse to a show and whenever you transport your horse across state lines. This will prove that your horse is safe to be around other horses.
EIA was first identified in 1904 and also known as “Swamp Fever”. The most common transporter of the disease are blood sucking insects, the most common is the horse fly. EIA has three common clinical forms.
- Horses will be depressed, uncoordinated and feverish.
- Weight loss, recurring fevers and general weakness occur.
- Entering into the chronic stage if they have survived the first two stages they can even appear normal but can show symptoms under stress.
If a horse tests positive, very strict quarantine measures are enforced. These include confinement in a screened stall and a 200-yard buffer from other horses. Owners often elect to euthanize their horses rather than subjecting them to such strict isolation.