Clinical Blood Profiles of Stressed White-tailed Deer: Drop-net versus Harvest

We collected whole blood and serum samples from 50 harvested (unstressed) and 37 live-caught (handling stress in drop-net) adult white-tailed (Odocoileus virginianus) does to evaluate the influence of capture method on clinical blood parameters commonly used to assess nutritional condition of deer. Our study found mean values for HCT, MCV, WBC, lymphocytes, neutrophils, creatinine, cholesterol, total protein, albumin, globulin, Na, LDH, and GGTP to be significantly higher in live-caught than harvested does. The concentrations of serum inorganic P and K were lower for livecaught than harvested does. Although the majority of clinical blood parameters were influenced by capture method, their patterns of temporal change (seasonal and annual) were not different, thereby indicating that either method would provide similar conclusions regarding changes in nutritional condition over time. Only serum concentrations of total bilirubin, ALT, BUN and the BUN/creatinine ratio exhibited different temporal changes between capture method. Absolute comparisons of clinical blood profile values derived from samples obtained from drop-net captured deer cannot be compared to those of harvested deer.

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