Captive, healthy, adult badgers have blood containing haemoglobin at 13·3 g/dl, and 8·4×1012/l red cells with an MCV of 46·2 f1 and an MCH of 15·6 pg. They have 5·1×109 white cells/1 of which 3·29×109 are polymorphs, 1·49×109 are lymphocytes, 0·26×109 are monocytes, 0·07×109 are eosinophils and 0·01×109 are basophils. These values are somewhat less in adult animals just trapped from the wild, and are lower still in wild cubs.
Changes associated with tuberculosis are a rise, and then a fall in red blood count and white blood count, an increase in the proportion of polymorphs and momocytes and a fall in lymphocytes late in the disease. This picture is similar to that seen in widespread, disseminated, tuberculin negative, tuberculosis in humans, a type of disease similar to that occurring in many badgers.
BCG vaccination of badgers did not produce any measurable change in the blood picture.