Evaluation of the blood film.
Evaluation of hemic cell morphology in stained blood film may be the most important part of the hematologic evaluation of exotic animals. The blood film provides important information regarding red blood cell abnormalities, such as changes in cell shape and color, presence of inclusions, and, in the case of lower vertebrates, changes in the position of the cell nucleus. Stained blood film also provides information about changes in leukocyte numbers and morphology, and shows important hemic features of mammalian platelets and the thrombocytes of lower vertebrates. The blood film is needed in the detection and identification of blood parasites.