Noninvasive monitoring of adrenocortical activity in carnivores by fecal glucocorticoid analyses

Measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites in feces has become an accepted method for the noninvasive evaluation of adrenocortical activity. The objective of this study was to determine if a simple cortisol enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was suitable for monitoring adrenocortical activity in a variety of carnivore species. Performance of the cortisol EIA was gauged by comparison to […]

Eye temperature and heart rate variability of calves disbudded with or without local anaesthetic

The possibility that pain can be detected from changes in eye temperature and heart rate variability (HRV) during disbudding was examined in thirty calves, randomly assigned to four treatments: 1) sham handling (control), 2) local anaesthetic (LA, cornual nerve injection) and sham disbudded, 3) sham LA and disbudded, 4) LA and disbudded. During a 40 […]

Cortisol metabolism in the domestic cat and implications for non-invasive monitoring of adrenocortical function in endangered felids

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1996)15:13.3.CO;2-Q Three domestic cats were given i.m. injections of 3H-cortisol to determine the time course and relative proportion of excreted 3H-cortisol metabolites into urine and feces. Most urinary radioactivity was detected in the first sample collected at 3.9 ± 2.5 hr postinjection and accounted for 13.9 ± 2.1% of the total radioactivity recovered. High […]

Evaluation of adrenocortical function in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris)

Abstract The study objectives were to determine the predominant manatee glucocorticoid; validate assays to measure this glucocorticoid and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH); determine diagnostic thresholds to distinguish physiological vs. pathological concentrations; identify differences associated with sex, age class, female reproductive status, capture time, and lactate; and determine the best methods for manatee biologists and clinicians to […]

Neural plasticity, neuropeptides and anxiety in animals — implications for understanding and treating affective disorder following traumatic stress in humans

Exposure of rats to cats (predator stress) lastingly increases rodent anxiety-like behavior (ALB) in the elevated plus-maze. Previous work shows that lasting changes in ALB following predator stress depend on NMDA and CCKB receptors. In this paper we describe the effects of differing degrees of predator exposure on behavior. Effects depend on the behavioral measure. […]

Measuring judgement bias and emotional reactivity in sheep following long-term exposure to unpredictable and aversive events

Animal welfare research is now starting to measure the cognitive component of affective states in an effort to improve welfare assessments of animals. Twenty-six Romane ewe lambs were trained to a spatial location task previously demonstrated to test for judgement bias in sheep. This required a go/no-go response according to the location of a bucket […]

Endocrine response of gilts to various common stressors: A comparison of indicators and methods of analysis

The first aim of the present study was to determine whether various common events encountered by pigs in commercial farms or experimental units induce activation of the sympathetic and hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes. The second aim was to compare the efficiency of various indicators and methods of analysis to detect the occurrence of a stress reaction. […]

Repeated exposure to immobilization or two different footshock intensities reveals differential adaptation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis

Factors involved in adaptation to repeated stress are not well-characterized. For instance, acute footshock (FS) of high intensity appears to be less severe than immobilization (IMO) in light of the speed of post-stress recovery of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and other physiological variables. However, repeated exposure to IMO consistently resulted in reduction of the HPA […]

Heterogeneity of neuroendocrine stress responses in aging rat strains

Hyperactivity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis is linked with age-related decrements in cognition and neuronal survival. However, the nature and extent of age-related HPA axis deficits vary considerably across and indeed, within strains. The current study was designed to assess variance in HPA axis function using two rodent models commonly used in aging studies: Fischer […]

Exploration of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function as a tool to evaluate animal welfare

Measuring HPA axis activity is the standard approach to the study of stress and welfare in farm animals. Although the reference technique is the use of blood plasma to measure glucocorticoid hormones (cortisol or corticosterone), several alternative methods such as the measurement of corticosteroids in saliva, urine or faeces have been developed to overcome the […]