Most of our laboratory tests are taken to the state laboratory in Warrenton, Virginia or sent to Cornell University for testing.
Some of the more frequently performed laboratory tests include:
Equine Infectious Anemia – We offer both the standard AGID Coggins test and the ELISA test. This test is required for all horses and must be repeated annually.
Fecal Egg Count – This test uses manure to both identify what type and how many parasites are present. We recommend performing an egg count at least 2-3 times per year. Horses with a count over 200 eggs per gram should be wormed with a medication targeted at the parasites identified. All horses, regardless of their egg count should be wormed in the fall with a product that treats tape worms, as they often are not found in a fecal sample.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)/Chemistry – This blood test is actually two separate tests that are generally performed together. The CBC measures red blood cell levels and white blood cell levels. The Chemistry panel assesses various organ functions such as liver and kidneys. A CBC and Chemistry Panel is often performed in sick animals, but should also be considered in older horses as a measure of overall organ function and health. HHhh Horses over the age of 15 should have a CBC and Chemistry Panel performed annually.
Lyme Multiplex – This test measures lyme antibodies and can help differentiate between acute, active lyme infection, chronic infection, and antibodies as a result of vaccination. Horses suspected of having lyme should be tested at the start of treatment and again 4-6 months after treatment has been completed.
ACTH/Insulin – This blood test is used to test for both PPID/Cushings Disease, as well as insulin resistance in overweight horses suspected of having metabolic disease. ACTH is produced by the pituitary gland where the tumor that causes Cushings Disease is located. An elevated ACTH in a horse suspected to have Cushings Disease is strongly predictive. Horses treated with pergolide (Prascend) should have their ACTH levels tested annually. High insulin levels are often found in horses with insulin resistance and can be used to both identify insulin resistant horses as well as monitor insulin levels during treatment and dietary maintenance.
EPM – EPM testing is most accurately done with a spinal tap performed at a referral facility in a sterile environment. When this option is not available, either financially or due to the instability of the horse, a blood test can be performed. An EPM titer measures antibodies to EPM, thereby identifying whether or not a horse has been exposed to EPM at any point in his/her life. A high EPM titer in addition to clinical signs consistent with EPM is generally sufficient to properly identify a horse with EPM and begin treatment.