| Evaluation of Serum for Pathophysiological Effects of Prolonged Low Salinity Water Exposure in Displaced Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - :20377 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Ocean Service (NOS)
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Evaluation of Serum for Pathophysiological Effects of Prolonged Low Salinity Water Exposure in Displaced Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
  • Published Date:
    2017
  • Source:
    Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 4(80).
Filetype[PDF-142.08 KB]


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  • Description:
    We conducted a retrospective study of serum biochemistry and hematologic findings from displaced, out-of-habitat bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) exposed to various low salinity environments in waters along the southern United States including southeastern Atlantic and northern Gulf of Mexico. Serum sodium, chloride, and calculated osmolality were significantly lower and below reference ranges in displaced animals compared to free ranging case control animals. This suggests clinical hyponatremia, hypochloremia and hypo-osmolality due to an uptake of low saline water from the environment. In addition, significant differences were found in other serum chemistry variables, although none were outside of normal reference ranges for non-controlled free ranging animals. Multiple linear regressions demonstrated the degree of salinity had a greater pathophysiologic response than the duration of fresh water exposure. The Na/Cl ratio and bicarbonate were the only variables that were significantly modulated by exposure duration. These findings suggest that the degree of salinity is a critical factor when assessing and managing care for dolphins chronically exposed to low salinity water. Results from this study indicate that changes in various biochemical parameters can be used to determine fresh water exposure and aid in determining the treatment for animals recovered from low salinity waters.

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