Cortisol determination in hair and faeces from domestic cats and dogs.

Dipartimento di Morfofisiologia Veterinaria e Produzioni Animali (DIMORFIPA), Università degli Studi di Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy.
General and Comparative Endocrinology (Impact Factor: 2.82). 02/2008; 155(2):398-402. DOI: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2007.07.002
Source: PubMed

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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