Life span of erythrocytes in animals

The life span varies with species.
In dogs, it varies between 100-130 days with an average being 118 days.
In cats, it varies between 70 and 80 days.
In horses, it varies between 140 and 150 days.
In adult ruminants (cattle,sheep and goats), it varies from 125 to 150 days while in lambs and calves, life span is shorter, ranging from 50 to 100 days.
Life span of erythrocytes in swine approaches that in human i.e. 100 to 120 days.

If the life span of erythrocytes is less than 100 days, then reticulocytes (immature erythrocytes) will be present in the blood of the animals in health. For animals like cattles and horses, there is no reticulocytes in their blood in health. Presence of reticulocytes implies anemia.

Erythrocytes from one animal infused into another animal of the same species do not live as long.

Birds have a shorter life span for erythrocytes may be due to their high body temperature and rapid metabolic rate. In chicken it is 20-30 days while for the duck it is 30-40 days.


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