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A contribution for the definition of serum chemistry values in captive adults Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus Linnaeus, 1758).

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Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Estadual do Ceará - UECE, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.


Serum chemistry analyses represents a fundamental tool for the diagnosis and understanding of diseases in marine mammals. Although several studies are being conducted within the field of clinical pathology, haematological and serum chemistry data for Antillean manatees are deficient. The purpose of this study was to determine serum chemistry values for captive Antillean manatees within the CMA/Ibama facility in Brazil. Serum samples were obtained from five captive adult Antillean manatees fed with seagrass and analysed for aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, urea, creatinine, glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, total protein, albumin, globulin, phosphate, chloride, calcium and uric acid. Blood chemistry parameters were determined using a semi-automatic analyzer. Maximum, minimum, mean and standard deviations were calculated for each serum chemistry parameter. Differences on the values of males and females were verified using an unpaired Student's t-test. All the parameters analysed were similar between sexes, with exception of AP, which was higher in females (191.43 +/- 31.86 U/l). Alanine aminotransferase and uric acid values for Trichechus manatus manatus are reported for the first time in this paper. This study is the first to report serum chemistry parameter values for long-term captive male and female Antillean manatees. Therefore, the lower values of albumin, phosphate, chloride, cholesterol and triglycerides obtained here highlight the importance of clinical pathology during health monitoring of captive marine mammals.

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