Background: Template bleeding time (TBT) is considered to be a useful test for detecting platelet function disorders and the effect of platelet-activating drugs, but studies in human medicine have concluded that the test has poor reproducibility and sensitivity.
Hypothesis: TBT has poor reproducibility in horses and has insufficient sensitivity to detect the effect of etamsylate on platelet function.
Animals: Twenty healthy horses.
Methods: TBT was determined and repeated 2 hours and 30 days later. TBT was also performed 2 hours after IV administration of etamsylate.
Results: Although no statistical differences were seen between the TBT values obtained at different times, the coefficients of variation for TBT replicates ranged from 26.8% to 45.5%. The reference range for TBT was 138.4–860.4 seconds. No statistically significant shortening of the mean TBT value was observed after etamsylate administration.
Conclusion and Clinical Importance: TBT has poor reproducibility, and the reference range is too wide to make TBT useful in a clinical setting. Other tests with higher reproducibility should be considered when assessing platelet function disorders in horses.