In Practice 24:318-327 doi:10.1136/inpract.24.6.318
  • Clinical Practice
  • Equine Practice

Haematology and blood biochemistry in the horse: a guide to interpretation

  1. Sidney Ricketts

    Sidney Ricketts graduated from Bristol in 1971 after intercalating a degree in biochemistry. He worked as an intern in equine medicine and surgery in the USA before joining Rossdale and Partners in Newmarket in 1972. He became a partner in the practice in 1975 and is now managing partner. He holds the RCVS diploma in equine stud medicine and is an RCVS specialist in equine stud medicine.


THE use of laboratory tests as an aid to the diagnosis of clinical problems has become commonplace in equine practice, and should be considered an integral part of the total management of a case. The indications for blood sampling are many and varied, but it is important to realise the limitations of laboratory results - there is no substitute for a thorough clinical examination. Clinicians should therefore guard against relying too heavily on test results for a diagnosis and, rather, clinical pathology should be used as an ancillary aid. This article reviews the interpretation of basic haematological and blood biochemical tests which are available to the equine practitioner.

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