Unique Blood Values
A research study conducted in 2015 by the Fenway Foundation for Friesian Horses, in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine, determined that Friesians have 3 hemotologic and 2 biochemical values which differ from other horses.
The study involved 123 adult Friesian horses from the USA and Canada. Researchers compared the complete blood count and chemistry values of Friesians to general horse population reference intervals for adult horses. The difference in Friesian values included lower red blood cell count, lower hemoglobin, lower hematocrit, lower glucose, and higher lactate dehydrogenase.
Recommended Friesian-Specific Blood Values
Red Blood Cell Count (RBC): 5.02-8.74 10/uL
Hemoglobin (HGB): 9.0-14.3 g/dL
Hematocrit (HCT): 27-42 %
Glucose: 62-95 mg/dl
Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH): 299-866 U/L
By using these Friesian-specific values, over-diagnosis in Friesian horses can be avoided when it comes to conditions such as anemia, hypoglycemia, and muscle or liver injury - thus eliminating unnecessary diagnostics and treatment. It will also help to alleviate the confusion that occurs when a Friesian horse fails to respond to therapy. Veterinarians can correctly interpret blood results and gain a better understanding of what is truly happening with that Friesian horse.
Values were determined using the Sysmex XT hematology analyzer and the Olympus AU/700 chemistry analyzer. These reference intervals are most appropriately used with blood analyzed on these same analyzers. Trends are appropriate to consider when assessing Friesian blood work in daily practice.