Full Blood Examination - Equine

The full blood examination (FBE) includes:

  • Red cell indices
    - haematocrit (HCT)
    - haemoglobin (Hb)
    - red blood cell count (RBC)
    - mean corpuscular volume (MCV)
    - mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH)
    - mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC)
    - reticulocytes if anaemia is present
  • White blood cell count (WBC)
  • WBC differential
  • Smear examination
    - manual WBC differential and morphology
    - assessment of RBC morphology
    - descriptions of any abnormalities
    - examination for blood parasites
    - automated and manual platelet assessment
  • Fibrinogen

Equine breed-specific reference ranges are provided.




Whole blood, blood smear


EDTA (minimum 2 ml)

Sodium citrate

Collection protocol:

Mix blood and anticoagulant gently and as soon as possible to prevent clotting. Make and air dry a blood smear as soon as possible to prevent artefactual changes occurring in the RBCs and WBCs. Sodium citrate tubes must be in-date and correctly filled.

Special handling/shipping requirements:

Haemolysis and leucocyte degeneration are significant problems in equine blood samples, generally due to exposure to heat, or delays in delivery to the laboratory. Keep blood samples chilled and transport to the laboratory as soon as possible. Do not refrigerate blood smears.