Background: Hematologic and serum biochemical reference values obtained from captive or free-ranging wildlife populations may not be comparable as there can be significant variations due to preanalytic and analytic differences, including methods of capture and restraint, overall management in captivity including diet and composition of animal groups, and analytic methods being used. Hematology and serum biochemistry have never been studied in captive or free-ranging populations of Sechuran foxes (Lycalopex sechurae). Objectives: The purposes of the study were to determine hematologic and serum biochemical RI in Sechuran foxes and to explore differences in these variables related to sex and overall life circumstances. Methods: Blood samples were obtained from 15 free-ranging and 15 captive Sechuran foxes. Hematology variables were assessed by blood smear examination and automated analyzer methodology. Serum biochemical analysis was performed by automated analyzer methodology. Descriptive statistics were calculated for each variable. Data obtained from free-ranging and captive groups were statistically compared and RIs were calculated. Results: Captive Sechuran foxes had significantly (P <.05) higher MCH, MCHC, and eosinophil counts and significantly lower band neutrophil counts than free-ranging foxes. Free-ranging Sechuran foxes had significantly (P <.05) higher serum lipase and globulins and significantly lower albumin, total bilirubin, and indirect bilirubin than captive foxes. Conclusions: These findings suggest that there are hematologic and serum biochemical differences between captive and free-ranging Sechuran fox populations. Hence, such differences should be considered when using these variables to assess the health status of this species.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was financially supported by the Veterinary Student Scholars Program (D09ZO-603) of Morris Animal Foundation, and the Undergraduate Thesis Fund (RR02298-RR-11) of the Research Superior Council of Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. Pfizer Animal Health and Yurakpampa companies offered logistic support to this project. The authors acknowledge Patricia Bueno, Jesús Muñoz, and Angie Uturrunco for their effort during field work, and the visited rural communities for their hospitality and invaluable help. The authors thank Las Leyendas Zoo and Huachipa Zoo staff for their support and for providing access to captive animal collection. The authors appreciate critical review and suggestions on this manuscript provided by Dr. Michael Fry. The authors have indicated that they have no affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in, or in financial competition with, the subject matter or materials discussed in this article.
- wild animals
- zoo animals