Cortisol determination in hair and faeces from domestic cats and dogs.
ABSTRACT The present study explored the feasibility of a hair cortisol assay in domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) and dogs (Canis familiaris) as a valid and reliable alternative to existing non-invasive techniques for monitoring the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. To this aim, 56 new hair growth samples and 870 faecal samples from 27 domestic cats and 29 domestic dogs were collected and cortisol content was assessed. A significant positive association was observed in both species between the concentrations of cortisol determined in hair and faeces. This finding is discussed in the light of the existing knowledge of hair physiology and in the perspective of its application to studies on chronic stress.
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ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effect of water restriction on wool and blood cortisol concentrations and water consumption patterns in heat-stressed sheep. Nine Corriedale female sheep (average BW=43±6.5 kg) were individually fed diets based on maintenance requirement in metabolic crates. They were assigned to three treatments according to a Latin square design (3×3) for three periods with a 21-day duration for each period (nine sheep per treatment). Treatments included free access to water (FAW), 2 h water restriction (2hWR) and 3 h water restriction (3hWR) after feeding. Average temperature-humidity index in the experimental room was 27.9 throughout the experiment that defines heat stress conditions. Wool samples were taken at the end of each period on day 21. No differences were found in cortisol concentration in each fragment (dried, washed and residual extract) of wool (P<0.05). Total wool cortisol concentration was higher in the 3hWR group than the other treatments (P<0.05). Blood cortisol was not different among the treatments (P>0.05) and resulted in higher variable data compared with wool cortisol. Blood neutrophils and neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio suppressed in FAW and 3hWR groups compared with the 2hWR group (P<0.05). The duration of water consumption recorded after feeding in the 3hWR group was higher than in the 2hWR group when recorded in the afternoon (P<0.01). Water consumption rate was higher in the 3hWR group than in the 2hWR group (P<0.01). However, total water consumed was lower in the 3hWR group compared with other treatments (P>0.05). It can be concluded that wool cortisol provides more precise and accurate data than blood cortisol during heat stress conditions. Water restriction for 3 h after feeding can act as a stressor and is critical for sheep during heat stress as the consumption of water decreases with restriction.animal 11/2013; · 1.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to determine whether cortisol and secretory Immunoglobulin A (sIgA) could be used as an indicator of acute stress in both young and adult dogs. Seventeen German shepherd puppies were exposed to the Puppy test (challenge test) at the age of seven weeks. This test has been routinely used to assess the future working ability of potential police dogs. In addition, ten adult females were subjected to 4 minutes of defense training under stressful conditions. Saliva was collected from the puppies and adult females before testing and 20 minutes after the start of testing, using a cotton swab held for 1-2 minutes in each dog's mouth. Cortisol concentrations increased after the test compared to the control sample both in puppies and the adult females. However adult females showed a significant decrease in sIgA after defense training while puppies showed a tendency of increase in sIgA. We propose that salivary cortisol could be used as an indicator of stress in puppies during early ontogeny. It is not yet clear whether sIgA could be used as a useful indicator of short-term stress in dogs.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e90820. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this investigation was to study the welfare of 3 captive groups of cotton-top tamarins housed in different zoological parks. Ethological observations were conducted during 1 year. In addition, fecal samples were collected and the concentrations of glucocorticoids, androgens, and progestogens were measured. Within each group, no significant differences in fecal cortisol concentrations were found between subjects. The fecal concentrations of testosterone and progesterone significantly differed depending on the sexes and ages of the tamarins. A significant association was found among hormone concentrations, exhibit dimensions, and group composition. A highly significant correlation was found between all hormones considered and the space available for each subject. Significant differences in behavioral patterns were observed among groups, including social-individual, affiliative-aggressive, and anogenital-suprapubic scent marking. Correlations between hormone measurements and behaviors were detected. In conclusion, this study confirmed the associations between some behaviors exhibited by these nonhuman primates and both cortisol and testosterone; these data also highlight the role played by progesterone in these behaviors.Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 05/2014; · 0.89 Impact Factor