BLOOD PROFILES AND ASSOCIATED BIRTH CHARACTERISTICS OF FREE-RANGING MOOSE (ALCES ALCES) NEONATES IN A DECLINING POPULATION IN NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA
Keywords:Alces americanus, blood profiles, blood reference values, hematology, moose
AbstractSources of natural variability of blood analytes related to physiological development pose both challenges and opportunities to deriving and interpreting the most useful nutritional and health-related information from blood profiles of free-ranging animals. Preliminary evidence suggests accurate interpretation of blood profiles may be particularly important relative to newborns given their high probability of death. Our goal was to establish hematological and serum reference values for free-ranging moose (Alces alces) neonates. Sixteen neonates (8 females, 8 males) were captured and blood was sampled during 8–12 May 2013. Mean age was 2.9 days old (range = 1.4–6.0); mean body mass and hind foot length were 16.8 kg (13.8–20.5) and 46.8 cm (45.0–49.0). We present mean, 95% confidence interval and range of values for 15 hematological and 24 serum characteristics, including metabolites,chemistries, electrolytes, enzymes, and metabolic and stress hormones. We observed significant (r2 = 0.423–0.747, P ≤ 0.016) positive relationships between body mass and red blood cell and white blood cell counts, hemoglobin, and packed cell volume. Hind foot length was positively related (r2 = 0.369, P = 0.028) only to red blood cell counts. No serum constituents were affected by body size metrics, but sex influenced (P ≤ 0.052) several whole blood and serum characteristics. At the individual level, blood profiles facilitated discrimination of one individual neonate in poor nutritional condition that was not evident in the original physical examination at capture. As wildlife researchers and veterinarians increasingly assess the nutritional and health status of free-ranging moose and other species by clinical biochemistry and laboratory methods, cumulative banks of blood reference values will aid in data interpretation.
How to Cite
DelGiudice, G. D., & Severud, W. J. (2016). BLOOD PROFILES AND ASSOCIATED BIRTH CHARACTERISTICS OF FREE-RANGING MOOSE (ALCES ALCES) NEONATES IN A DECLINING POPULATION IN NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA. Alces: A Journal Devoted to the Biology and Management of Moose, 52, 85–99. Retrieved from https://alcesjournal.org/index.php/alces/article/view/167
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