Effect of the method of capture on the haematology and blood chemistry of red deer (Cervus elaphus)

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    Haematological and plasma biochemical constituents can be affected during capture and handling operations in wildlife. The present study compares the blood constituents of 40 red deer (Cervus elaphus) captured using two different methods: 20 were captured by physical means, using long nets and box traps, and 20 by chemical means, using a mixture of xylazine and ketamine. Significant differences were found in the haemogram: red blood cell count, packed cell volume, haemoglobin concentration, and segmented neutrophil, lymphocyte, monocyte and total leukocyte counts were higher in animals captured by physical means. Conversely, the eosinophil count was higher in deer captured using anaesthetic. The plasma activity of alanine amino transferase, and the concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, albumin, alpha-2 globulins, total proteins, sodium and chloride, were significantly higher in the group captured by physical means. With the exception of the eosinophil count, all the blood constituents which presented higher values were in the group of physically captured deer, and thus it is necessary to take into account the method of capture when interpretation or establishment of reference values is performed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-84
    JournalResearch in Veterinary Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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