Anemia is one of the most common diagnosis for canine and feline patients. The classification of the diagnosis as regenerative or non-regenerative is essential. Although, microscopy is required for specific RBC morphologies, automated hematology analyzers are a great screening tool that can give a lot of valuable information for anemia investigations.
Through some hematology analyzer parameters such as hematocrit (HCT), red blood cell count (RBC),
hemoglobin (HGB), mean cell hemoglobin (MCH), red blood cell distribution width (RDW) and mean cell hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) we can gather various information to get closer to the root cause of the anemia.
Reticulocyte count is also important and can be counted by some automated hematology analyzers, however, this value will always need to be confirmed. One reason being that feline have both punctuate and aggregate reticulocytes that are very important to differentiate. Moreover, the RBC morphology is always needed to be checked under microscope, such as for nucleated RBCs, Heinz-bodies, eccentrocytes, Howell-jolly bodies, basophilic punctuation, spherocytes, blood parasites, etc.
Read more in the extensive Veterinary classifications and investigation of non-regenerative and regenerative anemia and the role and clinical relevance of reticulocytes white paper.