Evaluation of changes in hematologic and clinical ...

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Title Evaluation of changes in hematologic and clinical biochemical values after exposure to petroleum products in mink (Mustela vison) as a model for assessment of sea otters (Enhydra lutris)
Author(s) J. K. Mazet, I. A. Gardner, D. A. Jessup, L. J. Lowenstine, W. M. Boyce
Journal American Journal of Veterinary Research
Date 2000
Volume 61
Issue 10
Start page 1197
End page 1203
Abstract The effects of petroleum exposure on haematological and clinical biochemical results of mink were identified and variables that may be useful for making management decisions involving sea otters (Enhydra lutris) that have been exposed to oil in their environment were identified [California, USA; date not given]. 122 American mink (Mustela vison) were used in the study. Mink were exposed once to a slick of oil (Alaskan North Slope crude oil or bunker C fuel oil) on seawater or via low-level contamination of their daily rations. In the acute phase of exposure, petroleum directly affected RBC, WBC, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts, fibrinogen, sodium, calcium, creatinine, total protein, and cholesterol concentrations, and alanine transaminase, creatine kinase, alkaline phosphatase, and γ-glutamyltransferase activities. Aspartate transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyltransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase activities and cholesterol concentration also varied as a result of chronic low-level contamination of feed. Our results are in agreement with reports that attribute increased alanine transaminase and alkaline phosphatase activities and decreased total protein concentration to petroleum exposure in sea otters during an oil spill. Sodium, calcium, creatinine, cholesterol, and lactate dehydrogenase may be valuable variables to assess for guidance during initial treatment of sea otters exposed to oil spills as well as for predicting which petroleum-exposed sea otters will reproduce following an oil spill. Measurement of these variables should aid wildlife professionals in making decisions regarding treatment of sea otters after oil spills.

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