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Further investigation of the blood characteristics of Australian quoll (Dasyurus spp.) species

Authors

  • Hayley J. Stannard,

    Corresponding author
    1. Native and Pest Animal Unit, School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, NSW, Australia
    • Correspondence

      Hayley Stannard, Native and Pest Animal Unit, School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury Campus Bldg K8, Locked Bag 1797,

      Penrith NSW 2751, Australia

      E-mail: h.stannard@uws.edu.au

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  • Lauren J. Young,

    1. Native and Pest Animal Unit, School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, NSW, Australia
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  • Julie M. Old

    1. Native and Pest Animal Unit, School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, NSW, Australia
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Abstract

Background

The Eastern and Spotted-Tailed Quolls are “near threatened” Australian dasyurid marsupials that have undergone significant reduction in their geographic ranges in the past 200 years. Captive breeding and research colonies now exist, allowing further efforts to more fully understand the physiology of these carnivorous species.

Objectives

The aims of the study were to provide a more detailed study of blood chemistry and differential WBC counts for Eastern and Spotted-Tailed Quolls, and to determine the influence by 3 biologic factors.

Methods

Blood samples were taken from conscious, captive, healthy Eastern Quolls. A small number of samples from Spotted-Tailed Quolls were also available and were included in the study for comparison. Blood chemistry and differential WBC counts were compared to determine season-, age-, and sex-related differences.

Results

For many of the analytes, blood chemistry results were comparable to other marsupial ranges, and no significant differences between sexes were detected (P > .05). Seasonal differences were determined for total bilirubin, glucose, creatinine, and potassium concentrations in the Eastern Quoll. Generally, higher concentrations of these analytes were observed in the summer; however, amylase activity was significantly higher in autumn (southern hemisphere). Eastern Quolls one year of age and younger had significantly (< .05) higher ALP activities than older animals.

Conclusions

The normal ranges determined in this study can be used to assess clinical health of quolls and will assist with captive management and future reintroduction programs to the wild.

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