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Haematological and biochemical measurements in a population of wild Eurasian badgers (Meles meles)
  1. H. Winnacker, DVM, MRCVS1,
  2. N. J. Walker, MSc2,
  3. M. G. I. Brash, BVetMed, CertZooMed, MRCVS3,
  4. J. A. MacDonald, EVDS4 and
  5. R. J. Delahay, PhD2
  1. 1 The 608 Veterinary Group, 608 Warwick Road, Solihull B91 1AA
  2. 2 Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ
  3. 3 Battle Flatts Veterinary Clinic, 38 Main Street, Stamford Bridge, York YO41 1AB
  4. 4 3 Castle Farm, Cholmondeley, Cheshire SY14 8AQ

Abstract

Blood samples were collected from a high density population of wild badgers in Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire, England, where animals were routinely captured and examined as part of a long-term ecological study, and a selection of haematological and biochemical variables were measured. The badger cubs had lower red blood cell counts and haemoglobin concentrations than the adults, consistent with physiological anaemia, and lower serum protein concentrations. Growth of muscle and active bone formation in the cubs probably accounted for their higher serum concentrations of creatinine and calcium, and higher activities of alkaline phosphatase. Only triglyceride concentrations varied between the sexes. The serum concentration of urea was higher than observed in other mustelids, consistent with a protein-rich diet and possibly related to the consumption of earthworms.

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