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Clinicopathologic analysis of Passeriform venous blood reflects transitions in elevation and habitat

Authors Heatley JJ , Cary J, Russell KE, Voelker G 

Received 24 January 2013

Accepted for publication 14 March 2013

Published 7 June 2013 Volume 2013:4 Pages 21—29


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

J Jill Heatley,1 Jennifer Cary,2 Karen E Russell,3 Gary Voelker2

1Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 2Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and Texas A&M Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections, Texas A&M University, 3Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, College Station, TX, USA

Abstract: Jugular blood samples from 110 Passeriformes collected at several Texas locations were analyzed for multiple clinicopathologic parameters between April 2010 and August 2011. Electrolyte, blood gas, and select erythrocyte parameters were analyzed on site with a point of care analyzer, and gender, age, body condition score, location, and species were recorded. Many analytes exhibited a Gaussian distribution across species and are reported as a single range. Taxon affected electrolyte and red blood cell parameters, but not most blood gas or acid base variables. Migratory status affected select electrolytes but few blood gas variables. Red blood cell parameters were affected the most by variables of age, taxonomic group, and gender, but not migratory life history. We found significant changes in glucose and numerous acid base analytes in birds sampled from habitats with evolutionarily recent ecologic degradation. We advocate the use of these analytes, particularly venous blood gas values, as determined by a point of care analyzer, as reasonable biomarkers for determination of Passeriform population health, but also recommend that red blood cell parameters and electrolyte concentrations be controlled for age, species, and gender in future studies. Further, based on our investigation, venous blood gas values and acid base balance in Passeriformes can assess the health of an ecosystem.

Keywords: avian, biochemistry, blood gas, electrolyte, hematology, Passerine

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