Does Your Horse Need a CBC and Blood Chemistry Profile?

Your horse vet in Cannon Falls, MN may use a CBC and blood chemistry profile to monitor your horse’s health or pinpoint the cause of any illnesses and injuries. Some owners order these tests as part of a regular exam, while others do so only when horses display alarming symptoms. No matter the role you see for a CBC and blood chemistry profile, you should know what they are and when you need them. Here is an overview to help you make the right choice.

What they are

A CBC (complete blood count) and chemistry profile should occur at the same time. You can order them separately, but you will secure a bigger picture of your horse’s health if your vet performs both of them.

CBCs determine dehydration, infection levels or anemia. They measure the quantity and quality of red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. The numbers indicate specific conditions. For example, a high white blood cell count reveals infection or inflammation. Low counts indicate infections that overwhelm the body or a bone marrow issue. Low platelet numbers show problems with blood clotting. Vets take these numbers and compare them to other physical findings to determine if a horse suffers from an illness.

The chemistry profile measures chemicals and enzymes. Results determine organ health and function, especially in the liver, kidneys and pancreas. Chemistry profiles also assess blood sugar levels and electrolyte count in the blood. These determinations diagnose conditions like muscle tremors and seizures.

A vet completes the tests by first collecting a small blood sample. This process is completed quickly if your horse is well behaved. They can test blood in-house and often produce results on the same day. If they need to hire an outside laboratory, expect results in one to two days.

When you need them

You can make these blood tests part of your horse’s wellness routine. That is useful because your vet can compare current results with past results and better determine whether your horse has developed a health condition. This approach catches illnesses early and increases the chances of effective treatment. If your horse is older or chronically ill, your horse vet in Cannon Falls, MN may order these tests more frequently and include thyroid testing and urinalysis. Horses with diabetes or kidney disease enjoy improved prognosis if a CBC and chemistry profile catches these conditions early.

When horses present clinical symptoms, the CBC and chemistry profile is the first diagnostic step. Results can determine conditions, or at least rule them out. Sometimes, the tests indicate normal levels all around, which is essential for guiding treatment.

A CBC and chemistry profile is also a step to take before a surgical procedure. Abnormal results may lead to postponing the procedure or choosing other treatments.

Performing a CBC and chemistry profile presents low risks to your horse and invaluable information concerning your horse’s long life and good health. At Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd., we offer preventative healthcare for horses, including the CBC and blood chemistry profiles. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a horse vet in Cannon Falls, MN.