IDEXX Reference Laboratories

Blood Count options at IDEXX Reference Laboratories provide diagnostic flexibility

By M. Alexis Seguin, DVM, MS, DACVIM


All blood counts performed at IDEXX Reference Laboratories utilize the most advanced hematology technology available. Fluorescent laser flow cytometry methods and veterinaryspecific algorithms make it possible to provide automated blood count results with an extremely high level of accuracy in our patients.

Our IDEXX blood counts are also the most comprehensive and include the following:

  • Reticulocyte count, regardless of the presence of anemia. A reticulocyte count on anemic patients helps to classify the anemia as regenerative or nonregenerative. In nonanemic animals, a persistent reticulocytosis may indicate compensated occult blood loss, underlying hemolytic disease or other chronic diseases. Early identification and management of the underlying disease process is important for a good clinical outcome in these patients.
  • Reticulocyte hemoglobin, a measure of the quality of the developing red blood cells in canines and felines. The reticulocyte hemoglobin measures iron availability in developing red blood cells. A decrease in reticulocyte hemoglobin can be seen with chronic blood loss, inflammation and liver disease mostly in anemic patients. We will inform you once available!

Flexible, easy-to-understand options

IDEXX Reference Laboratories offers next to the well-known canine and feline routine profiles with a Large Blood Count, new profile combinations with a Premium Blood Count. All routine hematology/chemistry profiles are also available in both standard and premium versions, allowing you to select the best option depending on your patient’s needs.

Large Blood Count typically used for preventive care screening

The large blood count option is available for canine, feline, and equine patients. This option provides an automated blood count, including hemogram with reticulocytes (for canine and feline), five-part differential, and platelets. Our large blood count option is recommended when performing routine preanesthetic or preventive care screening on clinically healthy animals. For these patients, the large blood count is an appropriate and cost-effective option.

Premium Blood Count recommended for sick-patient diagnostics 

The premium blood count is the option recommended for sick canine and feline patients. It includes the same components as a large blood count. Additionally, a microscopic assessment of the blood smear is always conducted and is more thorough than a standard evaluation (e.g. examination for microorganisms). A clinical pathologist is consulted should results be significantly abnormal.

When viewing IDEXX test results in VetConnect PLUS, access differential diagnoses instantly (including those for reticulocyte and reticulocyte hemoglobin1), helping you interpret and act on any results that are abnormal for your patient.

Options for abnormal Large Blood Count results

The Large Blood Count is generally an excellent and economical choice when performing preventive care screening on a clinically normal animal. Sometimes, however, a patient who appears outwardly healthy may in fact have abnormal blood count or chemistry results. A positive tick/vector screen may also be an indication to evaluate a blood smear in an outwardly healthy animal.

IDEXX Reference Laboratories also offers a microscopic differentiation, test code DIFFPR. This additional request allows you an evaluation of the blood smear by a technician on your previously submitted standard Large Blood Count.

Choose the right CBC for your patient

Based on your patient's needs. Easily add a blood film review when needed.
In-house hematology analyzer
Abnormal results, such as:
  • Flagged and/or qualified results
  • Anemia
  • High/low WBC count
  • Low platelets
  • SNAP 4Dx Plus Test positive
  • Heartworm positive
  • FeLV or FIV positive
Do I need further information?
Review dot plots and/or blood film evaluation in-house
CBC Blood Film Evaluation
Reference laboratory
Based on clinical presentation
Large Blood Count
Typically used for preventive care screening
  • Preanesthetic blood work on clinically healthy animals
Abnormal results, such as:
  • Anemia
  • High/low WBC count
  • Unexpected findings on chemistry or serology
CBC Blood Film Evaluation
Premium Blood Count
Recommended for clinically sick patients or when blood film review is desired
  • FeLV or FIV positive
  • Vector borne disease positive
  • Heartworm positive
  • SNAP 4Dx Plus Test positive

Ordering options

The following profiles can be ordered via VetConnect PLUS or request forms:

Routine profiles with large blood count
Code Profile
Check-up large
Geriatric Profile
Feline Large Profile
Routine profiles with premium blood count (canine and feline only)
Code Profile
Check-up large with Premium Blood count
Geriatric Profile with Premium Blood count
Feline Large Profile with Premium Blood count
Standalone tests
Code Profile
Large Blood Count
Premium Blood Count standalone
Blood film evaluation

Contacting IDEXX 

For questions regarding specimen submission or test results, please contact our Laboratory Customer Support Team


  1. Available mid 2020, customers will be notified once available.
  2. If automated results fall outside of established guidelines and the specimen is considered significantly abnormal, a blood film evaluation by a technician is performed.
  3. The criteria for a pathologist review were established by an international team of pathologists, internal medicine specialists, and operations specialists and have been endorsed by the IDEXX Medical Review Board.