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Transport stress in roe deer ( Capreolus capreolus ): effect of a short-acting antipsychotic

By J. Montane, I. Marco, J. Lopez-Olvera, X. Manteca, S. Lavin

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a short-acting antipsychotic (acepromazine) on the stress response to transport in roe deer (C. capreolus). 21 roe deer in France were submitted to a 9-h road journey in order to reintroduce and restock this species into Catalonia (northeastern Spain) in January 1999 and March 2001. The animals were divided into two groups: animals in the treatment group received an intramuscular injection of acepromazine (0.13 mg/kg in 0.5 ml; n=9) while animals in the control group received the same volume of saline (n=12). Clinical (heart rate and body temperature, measured during transport using remote devices), haematological and biochemical indicators of stress were used to evaluate the effect of the antipsychotic. Heart rate increased during transportation but no differences were found between groups. Body temperature decreased during transportation in both groups but this reduction was faster in acepromazine-treated animals. Comparison of blood parameters before and after transport revealed significantly lower red blood cell counts and haemoglobin concentrations after transport in treated animals compared with control animals; a reduction in lymphocyte count, eosinophil count and serum creatinine levels over transport in treated animals; a decrease in serum potassium levels over transport in the control group; an increase in serum creatine kinase (CK), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activities over transport in control animals; an increase in serum urea and chloride concentrations over transport in both groups and finally a decrease in serum glucose concentrations in both groups. These results demonstrate the suitability of acepromazine in transport operations in order to reduce the stress response and prevent its adverse effects in roe deer.

Date 2002
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 11
Issue 4
Pages 405-417
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge, Facultat de Veterinaria, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193-Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal rights
  2. Animal transport
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Blood
  5. Blood sugar
  6. Body temperature
  7. Cells
  8. Chemotherapy
  9. Creatine
  10. Deer
  11. Developed countries
  12. Drugs
  13. Drug therapy
  14. Enzymes
  15. Europe
  16. France
  17. Heart rate
  18. Hematology
  19. Hemoglobin
  20. Leukocytes
  21. Mammals
  22. Mediterranean region
  23. nitrogen
  24. OECD countries
  25. peer-reviewed
  26. Pharmacology & Pharmacy
  27. Physiology and biochemistry
  28. potassium
  29. sedatives
  30. Spain
  31. Stress
  32. Stress response
  33. Wild animals
  1. peer-reviewed