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Plos One

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This study reports comprehensive clinical pathology data for hematology, serum, and plasma biochemistry reference intervals for 174 apparently healthy common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and reference values for 27 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), 13 beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), and 6 Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) in zoos and aquariums accredited by the Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Blood samples were collected as part of a larger study titled “Towards understanding the welfare of cetaceans in zoos and aquariums” (colloquially called the Cetacean Welfare Study). Two blood samples were collected following a standardized protocol, and two veterinarian examinations were conducted approximately six months apart between July to November 2018 and January to April 2019. Least square means, standard deviations, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for hematology, serum, and plasma biochemical variables. Comparisons by age, gender, and month revealed statistically significant differences (p < 0.01) for several variables. Reference intervals and values were generated for samples tested at two laboratories for up to 56 hematologic, serum, and plasma biochemical variables. To apply these data, ZooPhysioTrak, an iOS mobile software application, was developed to provide a new resource for cetacean management. ZooPhysioTrak provides species-specific reference intervals and values based on user inputs of individual demographic and sample information. These data provide a baseline from which to compare hematological, serum, and plasma biochemical values in cetaceans in zoos and aquariums.


Copyright: © 2021 Lauderdale et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



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