Re: Bloodwork and possible error

Eleanor Kellon, VMD


I'm not yelling! - just trying to get everyone's attention.  This comes up regularly.

"Normal" insulin depends on the circumstances. Would you expect a fasting horse to have the same insulin as one that just ate a full bucket of sweet feed?  The normals our calculator uses are based on ponies on pasture - so pretty generous for a full sized horse on low S/S hay.

Laboratories have reference ranges, not normal ranges. The usual procedure is to test animals that are externally free of any obvious diseases, various ages, breeds, sexes. How diverse the population is will depend on what is readily available to the lab - e.g. university donations. A minimum of 80 animals are supposed to be tested but that's not always done. Values that are extreme outliers - way above or below most of the results - are supposed to be discarded but that's not always done either. Results are then averaged and two standard deviations applied to get the range.  For example, if the average was 50 and standard deviation 10, the range would be 30 to 70.  What the reference range really means is if you test your horse there's a good likelihood you will see a result in the reference range. That does not mean it's normal.It means it was common for the ages, breeds and diets included in their test population.
Eleanor in PA  2 for 1 course sale
EC Owner 2001

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