Thrombocytopenia in horses: 35 cases (1989-1994)

J Vet Intern Med. 1996 May-Jun;10(3):127-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.1996.tb02044.x.


The records of 3,952 equine patients presenting to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine were evaluated to determine risk factors associated with thrombocytopenia. Of 2,346 horses from which a CBC was obtained, 35 (1.49%) were thrombocytopenic (platelet count < 75,000/microL). A reference population of 189 horses with normal platelet counts (75,000 to 300,000/microL) was also studied. Standardbred horses were at increased risk for thrombocytopenia, but age and gender were not identified as significant risk factors. Horses with infectious or inflammatory diseases were at increased risk for thrombocytopenia. The potential association of clinical and clinicopathologic factors with thrombocytopenia were assessed by reviewing a series of multiple logistic regression models. Clinical and clinicopathologic variables significantly associated with thrombocytopenia in the final model included increased PCV, increased band neutrophil count, increased total WBC, and decreased plasma protein concentration. Increased mature neutrophil count was associated with normal platelet counts. Thrombocytopenic horses were significantly more likely to die to be euthanized than were horses with normal platelet counts.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases / complications
  • Communicable Diseases / veterinary
  • Female
  • Horse Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Horse Diseases / physiopathology
  • Horses
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / veterinary
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombocytopenia / epidemiology
  • Thrombocytopenia / etiology
  • Thrombocytopenia / physiopathology
  • Thrombocytopenia / veterinary*