Blood from 31 healthy, free-ranging golden jackals held in captivity for seven days was collected while they were anaesthetised. Haematological and serum biochemical measurements were analysed and the 95 per cent confidence interval for each variable was compared with the reference value for domestic dogs. The measurements of their red blood cells were within the reference interval for dogs, but the jackals had higher white blood cell counts and eosinophil counts than dogs. The male jackals had a higher haematocrit, red blood cell count, mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, and a lower red blood cell distribution width than the female jackals. High activities of muscle enzymes were detected in many of the jackals, in several of which the activity of creatine kinase exceeded 5000 U/l; these were considered abnormal.