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Red blood cells, white blood cells, serum, platelets … let’s face it, veterinarians look for a lot of things when they run a blood test on your horse.

Called a combined complete blood count/chemistry profile, or CBC for short, this test’s results show what’s happening in the horse’s bloodstream at the moment the sample is drawn. While they can’t produce a perfect report stating that your horse has disease X and needs treatment Y, the various numbers, shapes, and sizes of the blood components can tell the clinician the horse is possibly anemic, losing blood, or fighting an infection or an immune-mediated disease.

Because all these figures and indicators are confusing, we’ve taken a visual route of describing a typical blood test and what its results might mean for your horse.