Græsli, Anne Randi3; Fahlman, Åsa4; Evans, Alina L.5; Bertelsen, Mads Frost7; Arnemo, Jon Martin5; Nielsen, Søren Saxmose8
1 Food Safety and Zoonoses, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Section for Animal Welfare and Disease Control, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 University of Copenhagen, Department of Large Animal Sciences (Stud.)4 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences, Uppsala5 Hedmark University College6 Veterinary Clinical Microbiology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet7 Veterinary Clinical Microbiology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet8 Section for Animal Welfare and Disease Control, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
BackgroundEstablishment of haematological and biochemical reference intervals is important to assess health of animals on individual and population level. Reference intervals for 13 haematological and 34 biochemical variables were established based on 88 apparently healthy free-ranging brown bears (39 males and 49 females) in Sweden. The animals were chemically immobilised by darting from a helicopter with a combination of medetomidine, tiletamine and zolazepam in April and May 2006¿2012 in the county of Dalarna, Sweden. Venous blood samples were collected during anaesthesia for radio collaring and marking for ecological studies. For each of the variables, the reference interval was described based on the 95% confidence interval, and differences due to host characteristics sex and age were included if detected. To our knowledge, this is the first report of reference intervals for free-ranging brown bears in Sweden.ResultsThe following variables were not affected by host characteristics: red blood cell, white blood cell, monocyte and platelet count, alanine transaminase, amylase, bilirubin, free fatty acids, glucose, calcium, chloride, potassium, and cortisol. Age differences were seen for the majority of the haematological variables, whereas sex influenced only mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, aspartate aminotransferase, lipase, lactate dehydrogenase, ß-globulin, bile acids, triglycerides and sodium.ConclusionsThe biochemical and haematological reference intervals provided and the differences due to host factors age and gender can be useful for evaluation of health status in free-ranging European brown bears.