Comparative blood characteristics of ranched and free-ranging American bison (Bison bison)

James G. Sikarskie From the College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314 (Sikarskie, Schillhorn van Veen, van Selm); and International Wildlife Veterinary Services, PO Box 1413, Orangevale, CA 95662 (Kock).

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 DVM, MS
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Tjaart W. Schillhorn van Veen From the College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314 (Sikarskie, Schillhorn van Veen, van Selm); and International Wildlife Veterinary Services, PO Box 1413, Orangevale, CA 95662 (Kock).

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Gijsbertus van Selm From the College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314 (Sikarskie, Schillhorn van Veen, van Selm); and International Wildlife Veterinary Services, PO Box 1413, Orangevale, CA 95662 (Kock).

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Michael D. Kock From the College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1314 (Sikarskie, Schillhorn van Veen, van Selm); and International Wildlife Veterinary Services, PO Box 1413, Orangevale, CA 95662 (Kock).

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 B Vet Med, MPVM

Summary

Blood samples were obtained from 20 bison (Bison bison) from a ranch in northern lower Michigan, as well as from 20 free-ranging bison of the same sex and similar age from the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Hematologic and serum biochemical values were determined. The values were comparable in both groups, except for those for bun, aspartate transaminase, and phosphorus, which were significantly (P < 0.001) higher in the ranched bison than in the free-ranging bison. These differences were attributed to nutritional effects. Impact of age on blood characteristics was assessed in the ranched bison only by comparing values from calves weighing less than 185 kg with those from bison weighing more than 185 kg. Calves had significantly (P < 0.001) higher values for phosphorus and rbc counts and lower total protein values than adults. Adult bison had higher eosinophil and neutrophil counts with lower numbers of lymphocytes, suggestive of a stress leukogram, whereas calves had the typical bovine neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio.

Summary

Blood samples were obtained from 20 bison (Bison bison) from a ranch in northern lower Michigan, as well as from 20 free-ranging bison of the same sex and similar age from the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Hematologic and serum biochemical values were determined. The values were comparable in both groups, except for those for bun, aspartate transaminase, and phosphorus, which were significantly (P < 0.001) higher in the ranched bison than in the free-ranging bison. These differences were attributed to nutritional effects. Impact of age on blood characteristics was assessed in the ranched bison only by comparing values from calves weighing less than 185 kg with those from bison weighing more than 185 kg. Calves had significantly (P < 0.001) higher values for phosphorus and rbc counts and lower total protein values than adults. Adult bison had higher eosinophil and neutrophil counts with lower numbers of lymphocytes, suggestive of a stress leukogram, whereas calves had the typical bovine neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio.

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