Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances

Year: 2011
Volume: 10
Issue: 19
Page No. 2487 - 2492

Haematological and Cortisol Changes after a 3 h Road Journey in Sheep

Authors : Esterina Fazio, Pietro Medica, Sebastian Mignacca, Cristina Cravana and Adriana Ferlazzo

Abstract: The effects of a short road journey on haematological variables and cortisol levels were studied in 138 healthy sheep. Animals were divided into two groups: group A (n = 93:54 pregnant ewes, 24 post-partum ewes and 15 rams) were transported 125 km by road for 3 h group B (n = 45:20 pregnant ewes, 15 post-partum ewes and 10 rams) was the control group. Blood samples were collected from both groups under basal conditions and in group A after transport and unloading. In group A pregnant ewes showed higher Red blood cell Distribution Width (RDW) (p<0.05), Plateletocrit (Pct) (p<0.01), Platelet (Plt) (p<0.01) and cortisol levels (p<0.001) after transport than basal values; post-partum ewes showed higher RDW (p<0.01), Mean Platelet Volume (MPV) (p<0.05) and cortisol levels (p<0.001), rams showed higher values of RDW (p<0.05), Plt (p<0.05) and cortisol levels (p<0.05). Pregnant ewes also showed lower values of White Blood Cell (WBC) (p<0.01) and higher values of Red Blood Cell (RBC) (p<0.01) than post partum ewes. In addition, pregnant ewes and rams showed higher cortisol levels (p<0.05) before transport than control group (p<0.05). In group B pregnant ewes showed higher WBC and RBC values (p<0.01) than post-partum ewes. Evaluation of haematological variables and circulating cortisol after a short journey is therefore, effective in evaluating short term stress in sheep and provides an additional tool for distinguishing between control group and transported animals.

How to cite this article:

Esterina Fazio, Pietro Medica, Sebastian Mignacca, Cristina Cravana and Adriana Ferlazzo, 2011. Haematological and Cortisol Changes after a 3 h Road Journey in Sheep. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 10: 2487-2492.

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