A comparison of hematological, immunological, and stress responses to capture and transport in wild White Rhinoceros Bulls (Ceratotherium simum simum) supplemented with azaperone or midazolam

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dc.contributor.author Pohlin, Friederike
dc.contributor.author Hooijberg, Emma Henriette
dc.contributor.author Buss, Peter Erik
dc.contributor.author Huber, Nikolaus
dc.contributor.author Viljoen, Francois P.
dc.contributor.author Blackhurst, Dee
dc.contributor.author Meyer, Leith Carl Rodney
dc.date.accessioned 2021-04-14T05:42:44Z
dc.date.available 2021-04-14T05:42:44Z
dc.date.issued 2020-10
dc.description.abstract Capture and transport are essential procedures for the management and conservation of southern white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum simum), but are associated with stress-induced morbidity and mortality. To improve conservation efforts, it is crucial to understand the pathophysiology of rhinoceros stress responses and investigate drug combinations that could reduce these responses. In this study we measured rhinoceros stress responses to capture and transport by quantifying hematological and immunological changes together with adrenal hormone concentrations. We investigated whether the potent anxiolytic drug midazolam was able to mitigate these responses compared to azaperone, which is more commonly used during rhinoceros transport. Twenty three wild white rhinoceros bulls were transported for 6 h (280 km) within the Kruger National Park for reasons unrelated to this study. Rhinoceroses were immobilized with either etorphine-azaperone (group A, n = 11) or etorphine-midazolam (group M, n = 12) intramuscularly by darting from a helicopter. Azaperone (group A) or midazolam (group M) were re-administered intramuscularly every 2 h during transport. Serial blood samples were collected at capture (TC), the start of transport (T0) and after 6 h of transport (T6). Changes in hematological and immunological variables over time and between groups were compared using general mixed models. Increases in plasma epinephrine and serum cortisol concentrations indicated that rhinoceroses mounted a stress response to capture and transport. Packed cell volume decreased from TC to T6 indicating that stress hemoconcentration occurred at TC. Neutrophils progressively increased and lymphocytes and eosinophils progressively decreased from T0 to T6, resulting in an increase in neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio; a characteristic leukocyte response to circulating glucocorticoids. A reduction in serum iron concentrations may suggest the mounting of an acute phase response. Rhinoceroses experienced a decrease in unsaturated fatty acids and an increase in lipid peroxidation products at capture and toward the end of transport indicating oxidative stress. Midazolam, at the dose used in this study, was not able to mitigate adrenal responses to stress and appeared to directly influence leukocyte responses. en_ZA
dc.description.department Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies en_ZA
dc.description.department Companion Animal Clinical Studies en_ZA
dc.description.department Paraclinical Sciences en_ZA
dc.description.librarian pm2021 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The International Rhino Foundation, the Cayman Supporting Women in Research Grant, the Wildlife Group of the South African Veterinary Association, the South African National Research Foundation and the research fund of the Department of Paraclinical Sciences of the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria. en_ZA
dc.description.uri https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/veterinary-science# en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Pohlin F, Hooijberg EH, Buss P, Huber N, Viljoen FP, Blackhurst D and Meyer LCR (2020) A Comparison of Hematological, Immunological, and Stress Responses to Capture and Transport in Wild White Rhinoceros Bulls (Ceratotherium simum simum) Supplemented With Azaperone or Midazolam. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 7:569576. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2020.569576. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 2297-1769 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.3389/fvets.2020.569576
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/79427
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Frontiers Media en_ZA
dc.rights © 2020 Pohlin, Hooijberg, Buss, Huber, Viljoen, Blackhurst and Meyer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). en_ZA
dc.subject Acute phase response en_ZA
dc.subject Epinephrine en_ZA
dc.subject Hemoconcentration en_ZA
dc.subject Leukocyte coping capacity en_ZA
dc.subject Oxidative stress en_ZA
dc.subject Translocation en_ZA
dc.subject Wildlife en_ZA
dc.subject White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) en_ZA
dc.subject.other Veterinary science articles SDG-15 en_ZA
dc.title A comparison of hematological, immunological, and stress responses to capture and transport in wild White Rhinoceros Bulls (Ceratotherium simum simum) supplemented with azaperone or midazolam en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA


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