The differences between the capture stress responses of captive and free-ranging roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and their modulation by acepromazine, during a period of three hours' physical restraint after capture in drive-nets, were examined in 16 free-ranging and 16 captive roe deer. Eight of the free-ranging and eight of the captive animals received acepromazine intramuscularly, and the other eight free-ranging and eight captive deer received the same volume of saline. Heart rate, body temperature and haematological and serum biochemical parameters were analysed. In the groups treated with acepromazine, the heart rate stabilised sooner, and the red blood cell (rbc) count, haemoglobin concentration, packed-cell volume, the serum activities of creatine kinase (ck), aspartate aminotransferase (ast), alanine aminotransferase (alt) and lactate dehydrogenase (ldh) and the concentrations of creatinine and lactate were significantly lower, and serum glucose started to decrease earlier, than in the untreated groups. Serum potassium levels decreased over time only in the untreated groups. The body temperature stabilised earlier, and the rbc count, haemoglobin concentration, serum ck, ast, alt and ldh activities, and serum creatinine, lactate, cholesterol and glucose concentrations were significantly lower in the free-ranging roe deer than in the captive deer.
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