Farm Animal Health: Hauling Horses, Selecting Farm Dogs and Branding Cattle

MOTHER's Country Vet shares tips on farm animal health, including questions on hauling horses, selecting the right dog for livestock, birthing for cows and horses and branding cattle.

| February/March 1996

Carol Erikson, DVM, offers her farm animal health experience in caring for cows, calves, horses and sheep. 

Farm Animal Health Topics

I bought a horse in Kentucky and I need to haul him home to New Mexico in a few months. I was told I need a vet to issue health papers on him so I can cross state lines. What does this involve? Will I need to get vaccinations? What is the reason for this inspection? 

—Paul Matthews
Corona, NM

Health papers for livestock were developed to control the spread of contagious disease as well as to protect the owner/mover from unforeseen health problems during transport. Regulations governing vaccination and testing vary from state to state. Your vet will be able to tell you what is required before entering a specific area.

Your horse should always be current on vaccinations anyway. A four-way tetanus, influenza, and sleeping sickness vaccination should be given annually regardless of transportation status. Other vaccinations depend on age, breeding status, and use of your animal. These would be: streptococcus equi, rhinopneumonitis and Potomac horse fever. Vaccination not only protects your horse when entering a new area, but also other horses that s/he may contact.

A blood test for equine infectious anemia, commonly called the Coggins Test, may also be required when crossing state lines. Your vet must fill out the proper forms, draw blood for serum, submit this to a lab, and get results before your horse can be moved. It pays to start early when considering shipping livestock.

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