Objective—To evaluate differences in Hct between 2 venipuncture sites in captive and free-ranging sharks.
Animals—32 healthy adult captive sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus, Carcharhinus plumbeus, Stegastoma fasciatum, Orectolobus japonicus, and Triaenodon obesus) and 15 captured free-ranging adult sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus and Carcharhinus acronotus).
Procedures—Blood samples were collected from the caudal tail artery followed by collection from the sinus located immediately caudal to the cranial dorsal fin. The Hct was determined for each sample and results were compared. Additionally, results for sharks that were highly active and used aerobic metabolism were compared with results for sharks that were less active and tolerant of anaerobic conditions.
Results—Mean Hct for all sharks was significantly less (8% less) in blood samples obtained from the cranial dorsal fin sinus, compared with the Hct for samples obtained from the caudal tail artery. When compared on the basis of metabolic class, sharks that were more tolerant of anaerobic conditions had lower Hct values and smaller differences between the 2 venipuncture sites.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hct values were significantly lower in blood samples collected from the cranial dorsal fin sinus compared with values for samples collected from the caudal tail artery. It is important to recognize this difference when evaluating hematologic variables in sharks and when establishing reference ranges for Hcts for shark populations. Sharks that were more active and relied on aerobic metabolism had higher Hct values than did anaerobic-tolerant sharks, and the difference in Hct values between venipuncture sites was more pronounced.
To characterize physical examination, plasma biochemical, and ultrasonographic findings in aquarium-housed, managed semiwild, and wild southern stingrays (Hypanus americanus) with and without reproductive disease.
Southern stingrays from aquarium (n = 48), lagoon (managed semiwild; 34), and wild (12) habitats.
Limited, opportunistic prosections were performed of presumed anatomically normal wild southern stingrays and compared with findings for aquarium-housed stingrays with reproductive disease. Ultrasonographic video data from both groups were used to assign a score (1 to 5) indicating increasing severity of ovarian and uterine reproductive disease. Plasma total 17β-estradiol, estrone, progesterone, and testosterone concentrations were measured with enzyme immunoassays validated for use in southern stingrays.
Ultrasonographic ovarian scores were significantly correlated with uterine scores. No reproductive disease was detected in semiwild or wild stingrays, but 65% (31/48) of aquarium-housed stingrays had developing or advanced reproductive disease (ie, ultrasonographic ovarian or uterine score of 4 or 5). Significant correlations were identified between ovarian and uterine disease status and plasma concentrations of all steroid hormones except testosterone.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Findings suggested that ultrasonography and plasma hormone concentrations may be useful in the identification of reproductive disease and determination of disease severity in southern stingrays.