Preliminary data showing potential for salivary C-reactive protein as an indicator of welfare in western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

C-reactive protein (CRP) is an acute phase protein often used as a biomarker for inflammation related to acute trauma or chronic illness. Animal studies showing elevations in CRP following events such as road transport and moving to new housing suggest that CRP fluctuations may indicate how behavioral stress affects animal welfare. As part of a […]

Effects of environmental stressors on deep body temperature and activity levels in silver fox vixens (Vulpes vulpes)

The present study was performed to investigate the effects of 14 different environmental stimuli on stress-induced hyperthermia (SIH). and levels of locomotor activity in six (three infanticidal, three non-infanticidal. 2.5-year-old silver fox vixens. The effects of contact with humans) six experiments; handling for 5 min, handling of neighbouring animal for 5 min, presence of one […]

Dominance hierarchies in male lizards: Implications for zoo management programs

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430130510.abs Depending on spatial requirements and the distribution of key resources in the environment, social behavior among lizards varies from defense of exclusive territories to the establishment of dominance hierarchies. In captivity or under conditions where dispersal is not possible, dominance hierarchies often emerge in species that are otherwise territorial. This review explores some […]

Factors influencing hair loss among female captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Although rare among wild animals, hair loss is common among captive animals, which suggests that some aspect of the captive environment contributes to abnormal hair loss. Female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) housed in outdoor enclosures exhibited hair loss that varied significantly by pregnancy, season, ground substrate, rank, […]

Removing individual rats affects indicators of welfare in the remaining group members

The removal of individuals from social groups, e.g. in order to maintain appropriate stocking densities in groups of rapidly growing young laboratory rats, is often necessary. However, such removals may be stressful and few studies have investigated their effects on the behaviour, physiology and welfare of the remaining group members. In this study we investigated […]

Defeat is a major stressor in males while social instability is stressful mainly in females: Towards the development of a social stress model in female rats

Social stress models appear useful in elucidating the interrelationship between stress, mood disorders, and drug efficacy. However, reliable social stress models for females are virtually lacking. The aim of this study was to determine stress-related consequences of (a) defeat in aggressive encounters and (b) social instability, in male and female rats. Defeat in male and […]

The effects of sex, age and commensal way of life on levels of fecal glucocorticoid metabolites in spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus)

We studied levels of fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) in a social rodent — Egyptian spiny mouse. As breeding adults are socially dominant over subadults, and adolescent males are driven away by the dominant males, we addressed the question whether animals within extended families are stressed differently depending upon their social category. In addition, we evaluated […]

Housing and Welfare in Laboratory Rats: Welfare Implications of Isolation and Social Contact Among Caged Males

Male laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus; Wistar, Alderley Park) were housed as singletons or groups of three in units of two joined, but divided cages. Units were divided by different types of barrier that allowed different degrees of social contact across the barrier. Singletons were established either with another singleton as a neighbour on the other […]

Is Full Physical Contact Necessary for Buffering Effects of Pair Housing on Social Stress in Rats?

Our previous study showed that pair housing with a familiar male prevented an increase in anxiety caused by social defeat in male rats. The present study attempted to identify the aspects of social interactions with a familiar male that are needed for the emergence of such a pair-housing effect. In Experiment 1, the subject was […]

Contrasting hippocampal and amygdalar expression of genes related to neural plasticity during escape from social aggression

Social subjugation has widespread consequences affecting behavior and underlying neural systems. We hypothesized that individual differences in stress responsiveness were associated with differential expression of neurotrophin associated genes within the hippocampus and amygdala. To do this we examined the brains of hamsters placed in resident/intruder interactions, modified by the opportunity to escape from aggression. In […]