Laboratory services

Our in house laboratory is run from the Blueberry Farm Hospital in Berkshire.

Our haematology machine is able to analyse Erythrocytes (Red Blood Cells), Leucocytes (White Blood Cells) and Packed Cell Volume (PCV). Haematology is used to test for abnormalities such as anaemia (low RBC), infections (high WBC) and immune compromise (low WBC) when a horse is showing clinical signs of disease. This is also used for routine health checks. We can also perform blood smears to allow further evaluation of erythrocytes and leucocytes under the microscope.

Our clinical biochemistry machine is able to assess muscle enzymes, kidney function, liver function, protein (albumin and globulins), inflammatory markers and electrolytes.

Faecal Samples are examined for Worm Egg Counts using a modified ‘Ovatec Plus’ method. This is a floatation method which is sensitive to detecting redworm, roundworm and threadworm. It cannot detect encysted larval stages that cause disease in early spring, however samples are also examined for tapeworm eggs (proglottids). Serological testing (blood sample) can also give an indication of the degree of burden based on the antibodies produced against tapeworm. This reading is highly accurate, however it will remain high for 6-12 months even if your worming programme successfully treats the tapeworm.

Faecal worm egg counts (WEC) are helpful in monitoring and are crucial as part of intelligent parasite control programmes. Intelligent worming uses WEC to assess whether your horse needs worming. 20% of the horses at your yard will have 80% of the worms! Avoiding over worming helps reduce the development of resistance to anthelmintics (wormers).

Please see link for more information on worming.