The main purpose of haematological investigation in horses in the context of suspected or confirmed heart disease is to identify the presence of anaemia and to evaluate the changes in the white cell population which accompany many bacterial and viral infections.
If an infectious condition such as endocarditis or bacterial pericarditis is sushaematological examination may help to confirm the fact that an inflammatory process is present. Bacterial infections often result in an increase in the number of neutrophils (neutrophilia) and identification of immature neu(band cells). Viral infections often result in an increase in the numbers of lymphocytes relative to the neutrophil count Viral infections are of greatest significance in athletes with reduced athletic performance, either because of the effect of the virus on the respiratory system, or less frequently, due to myo
Anaemia can be identified from analysis of the blood haemoglobin and the red cell population. Anaemia may exacerbate existing heart disease by increasing the demand for cardiac output. In severe cases it may result in the auscultation of a cardiac murmur even in the absence of valvular disease (a haemic murmur) because of the reduced blood viscosity and increased cardiac output.