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Hematologic and biochemical variables of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) after overwintering in rehabilitation centers

Rossi, G., Mangiagalli, G., Paracchini, G. and Paltrinieri, S. (2014) Hematologic and biochemical variables of hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) after overwintering in rehabilitation centers. Veterinary Clinical Pathology, 43 (1). pp. 6-14.

Free to read: https://doi.org/10.1111/vcp.12121
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Abstract

Background: Information about laboratory reference intervals (RIs) of European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) hospitalized at rehabilitation centers is scarce. Objective: The purpose of this study was to establish hematologic and biochemical RIs for rehabilitated hedgehogs before the release into the wild, and to assess whether sex and management of the center influence laboratory results. Methods: Blood was collected from 50 hedgehogs at 3 centers. Thirty-eight animals were included in the study based on normal body weight, absence of clinical signs of disease, Bunnell index > 0.80, and absence of hibernation during overwintering. CBCs were performed using an automated laser cell counter followed by morphologic analysis of blood smears. Clinical biochemistry was performed using an automated spectrophotometer. RIs were determined as recommended by the ASVCP guidelines. Results: Hematology profiles revealed a prevalence of lymphocytes, a constant presence of nucleated RBCs, Howell-Jolly bodies and basophils, and bilobed nuclei in neutrophils and eosinophils. Biochemistry profiles were characterized by higher creatinine and urea concentrations, and higher ALP and GGT activities compared with other domestic species. The sex did not influence the results. Conversely, numbers of eosinophils, activated and large granular lymphocytes, and concentrations of total protein, glucose and cholesterol were different among the centers, likely due to different management practices (eg, antiparasitic treatments, environmental exposure to microorganisms, diet). Conclusion: The RIs established in this study can be used to monitor the health status of hedgehogs in rehabilitation centers. As management practices appeared to influence some variables, it is recommended to standardize the management protocols to minimize their influence on laboratory data.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology
Copyright: © 2014 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology and European Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/38943
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