Mar 26 2015

Equine Bloodwork

Keep Your Horse on the Road to Success

Our horses are important to us. We plan our holidays to involve them. They help teach our children responsibility. We have the opportunity to take the whole family together to compete with our equine athletes. That is why it is so important to keep them on the road to success.

Horses of all ages can have health concerns. Many of these health problems may not be obvious by looking at them. Many health concerns have an insidious onset, where the owner is unaware of the subtle changes occurring to their horse. They are finely tuned organisms that may require some tuning to keep them performing to the best of their ability.

There are ways to evaluate a horse. A physical exam performed by a veterinarian will help identify concerns that may not be readily obvious. Collecting and evaluating blood is a vital step in monitoring the overall health of your horse. One test is a Complete Blood Cell count (CBC). A CBC is done to evaluate the bone marrow. Is the marrow able to produce sufficient red blood cells to carry oxygen to the muscles when the horse is running? Is the marrow producing a competent immune system? This test will also tell us if the horse is fighting and infection and how successful that battle is being won by examining the white blood cells. The test can also look for certain types of diseases that will alter the appearance of the red and white blood cells. The other group of cells that this test evaluates is the platelets. Platelets are essential for forming a blood clot in the event of a laceration.

A Biochemistry panel is another way to examine a horse’s blood. This test looks at the internal organ function. The test will help your veterinarian determine if the horse’s kidneys, liver, and digestive tract are functioning normally. The veterinarian will also be able to look at electrolytes and protein. This is an excellent overall exam of the internal organs that we cannot see, hear, or feel.

At Twin Valley VHS, we can run these three tests in our clinic. Results are possible in emergencies within 15 minutes. This is the best way to understand the function of your horse’s internal organs. It is our goal to keep you and your horse on the road, doing what you love. If you have any questions regarding the above information or any questions/concerns in general, please contact Twin Valley VHS at 745-6642.

Dr. Justin Noble DVM

Twin Valley Veterinary Health Services

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