Hematologic reference intervals and age effect in European Strigiformes

Susana Agusti Montolio, Rafael Molina López, Carolyn Cray, Santiago Lavín González, Olga Nicolás Francisco, Ignasi Marco Sánchez, Encarna Casas-Díaz, Rafaela Cuenca Valera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The clinical importance of hematologic testing in avian veterinary medicine is reflected in the increasing number of studies for the establishment of hematologic RIs of Strigiformes and other species. Age is an important physiologic factor in birds and the effect on hematology variable should be understood. Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine baseline data of hematologic variables in 5 species of Iberian Strigiformes in different age classes. Methods: Nocturnal birds of prey were sampled at Wildlife Health Centers. Packed cell volume was determined by the microhematocrit centrifugation method, and RBC and WBC counts were determined using the direct hemocytometer count method with Natt and Herrick solution. Hemoglobin concentration was measured spectrophotometrically. The MCV, MCHC, and MHC were calculated using the standard formulas. The differential WBC count was performed by the routine microscopic evaluation of 200 cells on a blood smear manually stained with Wright stain. Thrombocyte blood count estimate was obtained from the blood film. Results: No differences were observed between juveniles and adults for any variable evaluated in Tawny owl, Little owl, Scops owl, Long-eared owl, and Barn owl. In addition, PCV, RBC, and HGB of chicks were statistically significantly lower than in juveniles and adults, and total WBC was significantly higher in Tawny owl, Little owl, Scops owl, and Long-eared owl. Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence that laboratory data from chicks of Strigiformes are different compared to juveniles and adults; therefore, separate RIs were defined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-495
Number of pages13
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Blood
  • owls
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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    Agusti Montolio, S., Molina López, R., Cray, C., Lavín González, S., Nicolás Francisco, O., Marco Sánchez, I., Casas-Díaz, E., & Cuenca Valera, R. (2017). Hematologic reference intervals and age effect in European Strigiformes. Veterinary Clinical Pathology, 46(3), 483-495. https://doi.org/10.1111/vcp.12516