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Reference values for some clinical, hematobiochemical and electrocardiographic parameters in miniature donkeys: the effect of sex, age and season

Abstract

In the current study, we aimed to establish reference values for the most important clinical, hematobiochemical and electrocardiographic (ECG) parameters and evaluate the effect of sex, age and season in miniature donkey. We hypothesized that these parameters in this valuable breed of donkey would be different from those of other species of equidae. Twenty apparently healthy miniature donkeys aged 1–8 years and weighing averagely 115 ± 10 kg, with an average height of 0.83 ± 0.3 m, were used in this study. Based on sex, age and season of sampling, the animals were divided into groups. Animals less than 2 years old, between 2 and 5 years old and those over 5 years of age were considered foal, young and adult, respectively. The ECG was attached as a bipolar base-apex lead and indices measured and analyzed were P, QRS and T wave amplitude and duration and duration of PR, QT and RR intervals. Red blood cell (RBC), white blood cell (WBC) and WBC differential counts were performed using a hemacytometer. Sera were collected for measurement of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), chloride (Cl), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+) and phosphorus (P) concentrations. Heart rate (HR), PR and RR intervals were different from reference ranges. Male and female animals showed no significant differences in clinical, hematobiochemical and ECG parameters except in serum concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+ (P < 0.05). There were significant differences in HR, RR interval and serum level of P and Na+ among age groups. Eosinophil in autumn was significantly higher than that in spring (P < 0.05). The configuration of P and T waves was mainly biphasic and monophasic, respectively. The majority of ECGs was of the QS configuration. Differences between sexes and seasons and among age groups were insignificant (P > 0.05). The data obtained in the present study are the first reference values to be published for the miniature donkey and can be useful in our understanding of this breed’s normal parameters, which will help veterinarians to appropriately interpret laboratory data. Results of the present study can be used for monitoring the health status, diagnosing the diseases and improving the management and conservation strategies of this breed.

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Correspondence to Amir Saeed Samimi.

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Samimi, A.S., Tajik, J. Reference values for some clinical, hematobiochemical and electrocardiographic parameters in miniature donkeys: the effect of sex, age and season. Comp Clin Pathol 26, 1075–1081 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00580-017-2488-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00580-017-2488-1

Keywords

  • Miniature donkey
  • Clinical
  • Electrocardiographic
  • Hematobiochemical parameters