Clinical, hematological, total plasma protein and fibrinogen parameters of magellanic penguins ( Spheniscus magellanicus ) pre- and post-rehabilitation

Parâmetros clínicos, hematológicos, de proteína plasmática total e fibrinogênio em pinguins-de-magalhães (Spheniscus magellanicus) pré e pós-reabilitação

Angela M. Coraiola Cristiane K.M. Kolesnikovas Ricardo Krul Paulo R. Mangini Rosangela Locatelli-Dittrich About the authors


Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) usually arrive in poor body conditions at Brazilian beaches during the winter. Hematology provides valuable information about clinical and immunity status of the animals. The aims of this study were to determine the hematologic, total plasma protein (TPP) and fibrinogen profiles of young and adult magellanic penguins in PROAMAR and CETAS-SC, relating these results with the state of health and survival possibility of the animals. In Paraná 14 animals were evaluated in pre and eight in post-rehabilitation and 29 animals were evaluated in Santa Catarina after rehabilitation. Before rehabilitation, all animals showed weakness. In hematological exams of these animals, we found that anemia was present in 83% of the penguins that died and 50% of those which survived. The heterophils/lymphocytes (H/L) ratio was 3.87±0.57 in animals that died, significantly higher than the average of 2.20±0.30 for animals that survived. These two parameters are useful to assess the survival possibility of animals to rehabilitation. The body condition score was positively correlated with hematocrit and TPP, and negatively correlated with H/L ratio. After rehabilitation, the values were similar to other animals of the family Spheniscidae, with averages ranging from 1.64 to 1.90x106 erythrocytes/μL; 43.38 to 48.80% of hematocrit; 12.45 to 13.52g/dL of hemoglobin; 8,684 to 14,011 leukocytes/μL; 4,767 to 8,041 heterophils/μL; 3,215 to 4,951 lymphocytes/μL; 95 to 655 eosinophils/μl; 179.8 to 277.9 monocytes/μL; 141 to 184.9 basophils/μL; and 1.26 to 1.74 of H/L ratio. These parameters can therefore be used as reference values and release parameters for young and adult Magellanic penguins in captivity on the rehabilitation centers.

Index Terms:
Spheniscus magellanicus; penguin; seabirds; hemograma; anemia; H/L ratio

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