Bovine lactoferrin was administered orally, in feed, to six bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) before they were transported for approximately six hours; their stress responses were compared with those of five untreated dolphins. During the journey the dolphins had an increased plasma concentration of cortisol, and lymphopenia, eosinopenia and mild neutrophilia, indicating a stress response. The administration of lactoferrin did not affect the function of the dolphins' polymorphonuclear leucocytes, but affected their leucogram by maintaining the number of circulating eosinophils.
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