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Equine Health Resource

Health Certificate Needed Now

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

    A veterinary inspection or health certificate is a statement of animal health issued by your vet that is required for interstate travel in the USA. A brief examination is required as part of the issuance of the certificate. Veterinary health certificates are usually valid for 30 days but this depends on the destination and origin states and the status of infectious disease in those States.

    Note: Global Vet Link ( provides access to each state’s official website, wherein specific requirements are posted.

    For interstate travel in the US, a Coggins test is required as part of a completed health certificate. International health certificates are unique to the destination, are much more complex than interstate certificates. They tend to be much more complex, require much longer to complete, and are far more expensive.


    Always communicate with your vet well in advance of the projected travel date. This communication ensures you will have your papers when you need them. It is critical that the Coggins test be valid for a valid interstate health certificate, so plan to do this in advance. Once you are in possession of your completed health certificate, keep it accessible and be aware of it’s expiration date, usually 2-4 weeks.


    Your vet examines the animal briefly or as needed to satisfy the requirements of the destination state. The main focus of the examination is ensuring freedom from transmissible diseases that could endanger animals in the destination states. In some cases, particular diseases are of major concern. An example is the ongoing VS outbreak in the southwest. A health certificate is only an assessment of very basic health from that standpoint. It is in no way a detailed examination beyond that.


    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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