This study aimed to develop a sound database for the hematological reference intervals of thoroughbred foals in Trinidad, West Indies from birth to 1 month of age.
Whole blood samples were taken from 89 foals throughout Trinidad at approximately 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month of age. These foals were examined to be classified as healthy or free from disease. Complete blood count (CBC), microscopic analysis of blood smears, and conventional PCR for Theileria equi and Babesia caballi were performed.
Of the 89 foals, 67 were deemed healthy and suitable for establishing reference intervals. Foals in this study had lower mean hemoglobin and hematocrit values for all 3 times of sampling when compared to their North American counterparts. Age had a significant effect on hemoglobin, hematocrit, white blood cell (WBC), neutrophil, and platelet counts of the foals from birth to 1 month of age.
Variations in reference intervals can occur due to differences in demographic, physiological, and environmental factors such as age, gender, breed, and geographical location. Given the changes in the hematological values over time, this study provides clinicians with valuable information that can be used to monitor the health status of newborn foals and detect disease conditions.