March                      2014
New Electronic Coggins Forms
GVEC is now using electronic (digital) Coggins forms. The Coggins is a test for EIA (Equine Infectious Anemia) and is required for transporting a horse off the farm as well as for entering competions.

Your Coggins testing will include a blood draw and a digital photograph of  the right side, left side and front views of your horse. These pictures need to be taken in a well lit area- outside on a sunny day is preferred, but an indoor arena or clean aisle way is fine.


We will also need you to remove all blankets and bell boots. Please have your horse brushed and white markings clean (no mud) so they are ready for their photo shoot! 


Once the Coggins test is complete it will be e-mailed to the owner.  The form can then be saved on your computer so that it can be printed  again if another copy is needed in the future. 




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Things to Think About BEFORE Your Horse Has a Colic Episode


The equine digestive system is long, complicated and poorly designed. About 75% of horses will meet their eventual end due to some crisis in the abdomen. So, if your horse has never had a bout of colic, he or she probably will!


Colic signs include:  



Horse displaying Flemhen response.


  • Pawing and flank staring

  • Loss of interest in feed

  • Lying down

  • Rolling

  • Lifting lip (Flehmen)






Any veterinarian examining a horse for colic is trying to decide if the situation is medical or surgical. A medical colic would be one that responds to pain medication, tubing and perhaps intravenous fluid therapy. Often those horses will be treated at the farm in a visit or two. Horses that have signs that point toward a surgical problem are those that have uncontrollable or persistent pain. A veterinarian may have findings on the physical exam and rectal examination that point toward a need for surgery.   An ultrasound examination of the abdomen may give the doctor evidence of a surgical problem as well. Examples of surgical problems would be a twisted colon or strangulated small intestine.   No amount of medicine can undo those problems.



If the veterinarian determines that the  problem is possibly surgical, then time is of the essence. Colic surgery needs to be done at a hospital with an operating room, a surgeon and an anesthetist. The closest place for our clients is Cornell University Hospital for AnimalsThat is a 90-180 minute drive for most of our clients.



The decision about colic surgery for your horse is one that needs to be considered long before the first signs of a problem. It should be something discussed with all who are involved with taking care of that horse's needs, whether that is the day to day feeding and grooming or the payment of bills.   It is very difficult for horse owners to come to grips with this decision in the heat of the moment. Please take some time to evaluate whether or not your horse would be a candidate for surgery by considering the following:


  • Can I afford it? Current estimates for colic surgery are $6,000-$11,000
  • Can I transport the horse? Can I make arrangements for having the horse transported? A truck and trailer will be needed urgently once the decision is made.   (If you own a truck and trailer, be sure they are registered and ready to roll at any time.)
  • Is the horse insured? What does my policy require of me? Do I have the phone number of the insurance company available for those who care for my horse in my absence?
  • Do I have an appropriate facility to give proper after care? Most horses will need 4-6 weeks stall rest after returning home from the hospital.
  • Is the horse the type that can handle prolonged confinement?
  • Realizing that not all problems associated with colic can be resolved in surgery, can I emotionally and/or financially handle a bad outcome?


It is a good idea to discuss the health status of each of your horses with your veterinarian at the next routine appointment.   Some horses have underlying medical conditions that may make them poor candidates for surgery and this will factor into your decision making process. Making a thoughtful decision in a timely manner is crucial when your equine friend is in distress.                        

GVEC "How To" Video Series
How to check your horse's vital signs with Dr. Sean Nash 
How to Check Your Horse's Vital Signs With Dr. Sean Nash


    Tech Corner:   Fecal Testing


 It's that time of year again! March or April is the perfect time to drop off a fecal sample to be tested for parasites.  Genesee Valley Equine Clinic recommends checking your horse's fecal sample routinely so that dewormers are only administered when necessary.

Copyright 2014 Ian Culley 



Here are a few things to remember about fecal testing:

  • We only need 2 fecal balls.

  • The sample needs to be kept cool but not frozen.

  • If you have an appointment you can send the sample back with the vet.

  • You will get the results by email 48 to 72 hours after the test has been run.


As always, if you have any questions please call the office at 585-889-1170.  You can also find more information on our deworming program by visiting our website: