The Importance of a Horse’s Spleen

A horse’s spleen weighs about 15 to 20 lbs. One of its roles is to store red blood cells when a horse is at rest. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to other organs and tissues. When a horse’s flight-or-flight response is triggered, or when he is asked to perform strenuous exercise, the spleen contracts and releases the extra red blood cells into circulation. The red blood cell volume can be increased by as much as 50% from splenic contractions. The increased supply of red blood cells delivers critical oxygen to hard-working organs and muscles.


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