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Selected haematological and plasma chemistry parameters in juvenile and adult degus (Octodon degus)

Thirty-five juvenile (mean age 6.3 weeks) and 35 adult (mean age 2.0 years) healthy degus (Octodon degus) were studied to investigate selected haematological and plasma biochemistry parameters. Animals were anaesthetised with isoflurane, and blood was withdrawn from the cranial vena cava. Erythrocyte, haematocrit and neutrophil counts (including the percentage of neutrophils) were significantly higher in the adult degus than in the juveniles. In contrast, the reticulocyte count, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, number of platelets and percentage of lymphocytes were significantly lower in the adult animals. Total protein and globulin levels were significantly higher in the adult degus. The albumin:globulin ratio and plasma levels of urea nitrogen, cholesterol, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, potassium, total calcium and inorganic phosphorus were significantly lower in adults than in juveniles.

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