Equine - Lab Work/Laboratory - The Role of Lab Work in Horse Health

Why are laboratory tests so important for our horses' health?

The need for laboratory tests varies depending on the situation. Sometimes we're looking at basic blood work to evaluate the horse's immune health and organ function. Sometimes we're looking for specific diseases or monitoring specific parameters when your horse is sick.

Dr. Christine Cocquyt
Tennessee Equine Hospital

What are some different types of lab work that we have available here? And what can we do in-house here at Tennessee Equine Hospital?

All of our Tennessee Equine Hospital locations can do what we call a complete blood count, serum chemistry, and fecal egg counts. The complete blood count helps to evaluate white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelet levels. The chemistries evaluate kidney and liver function, protein levels, muscle health, and electrolytes. The fecal egg count helps you assess your horse's internal parasite infestation or load. We send other diagnostic tests, especially for specific diseases and endocrinology testing, to outside labs.

Are baseline lab tests necessary, and how do they benefit our horses' health?

Sure. It might not seem like your horse needs blood work when they're healthy, but looking at these values when your horse is normal helps us establish a benchmark to compare future testing. That way, if your horse gets sick, and we find an abnormality on blood work, we know that's something new or if it's a pre-existing condition.

Why is early detection and diagnosis of equine illnesses using lab work so important to the health of our horses?

Diagnostic testing helps us to narrow down what might be causing your horse's symptoms. And when we know what we're dealing with, that makes it a lot easier to treat your horse and, hopefully, end up with a positive outcome.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 591-1232, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.