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Effects of duration of capture and sample handling on critical care blood analytes in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins

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  • 1 Ocean Embassy Inc, 6433 Pinecastle Blvd, Ste 2, Orlando, FL 32809
  • | 2 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, 219 Ft Johnson Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
  • | 3 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, 219 Ft Johnson Rd, Charleston, SC 29412
  • | 4 Division of Marine Mammal Research and Conservation, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, 5600 US 1 N, Fort Pierce, FL 34946

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of duration of capture and sample-handling procedures on blood analytes in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—154 free-ranging bottlenose dolphins of various ages and both sexes.

Procedures—Blood samples were drawn from each dolphin within 10 minutes of capture and before release and analyzed by use of a portable analyzer with a single-use 8-analyte disposable cartridge. Analyte values were compared according to duration between sample acquisition and analysis (time to run [TTR]) and duration between net encirclement and sample acquisition (time to bleed [TTB]).

Results—Neither TTB nor TTR significantly affected sodium or chloride concentration. Potassium concentration was not significantly affected by TTR, whereas the effect of TTB was significant. Glucose, total CO2, HCO3, Hct, and base excess of extracellular fluid values were significantly affected by TTR. Increased TTB resulted in significantly increased total CO2, HCO3, and base excess when TTR was kept within 10 minutes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The effect of TTB on certain acid-base and electrolyte values was readily measured in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins, and such values may provide a reference range for those variables.

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of duration of capture and sample-handling procedures on blood analytes in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—154 free-ranging bottlenose dolphins of various ages and both sexes.

Procedures—Blood samples were drawn from each dolphin within 10 minutes of capture and before release and analyzed by use of a portable analyzer with a single-use 8-analyte disposable cartridge. Analyte values were compared according to duration between sample acquisition and analysis (time to run [TTR]) and duration between net encirclement and sample acquisition (time to bleed [TTB]).

Results—Neither TTB nor TTR significantly affected sodium or chloride concentration. Potassium concentration was not significantly affected by TTR, whereas the effect of TTB was significant. Glucose, total CO2, HCO3, Hct, and base excess of extracellular fluid values were significantly affected by TTR. Increased TTB resulted in significantly increased total CO2, HCO3, and base excess when TTR was kept within 10 minutes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The effect of TTB on certain acid-base and electrolyte values was readily measured in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins, and such values may provide a reference range for those variables.

Contributor Notes

Supported in part by the Florida Protect Wild Dolphins License Plate Program and by the NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program. Performed under National Marine Fisheries Service Scientific Research Permit #998-1678.

The authors thank Elisabeth Howells, Eric Zolman, Jeff Adams, Jessie Craigie, Leslie Burdett, Dr. Forrest Townsend, Larry Hansen, Dr. R. H. Defran, and Larry Fulford for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Varela.