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Thermal reference points as an index for monitoring body temperature in marine mammals

Investigation published in BMC research notes

September 4th, 2015

BACKGROUND:
Monitoring body temperature is essential in veterinary care as minor variations may indicate dysfunction. Rectal temperature is widely used as a proxy for body temperature, but measuring it requires special equipment, training or restraining, and it potentially stresses animals. Infrared thermography is an alternative that reduces handling stress, is safer for technicians and works well for untrained animals. This study analysed thermal reference points in five marine mammal species: bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus); beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas); Patagonian sea lion (Otaria flavescens); harbour seal (Phoca vitulina); and Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).
RESULTS:
The thermogram analysis revealed that the internal blowhole mucosa temperature is the most reliable indicator of body temperature in cetaceans. The temperatures taken during voluntary breathing with a camera held perpendicularly were practically identical to the rectal temperature in bottlenose dolphins and were only 1 °C lower than the rectal temperature in beluga whales. In pinnipeds, eye temperature appears the best parameter for temperature control. In these animals, the average times required for temperatures to stabilise after hauling out, and the average steady-state temperature values, differed according to species: Patagonian sea lions, 10 min, 31.13 ºC; harbour seals, 10 min, 32.27 °C; Pacific walruses, 5 min, 29.93 °C.
CONCLUSIONS:
The best thermographic and most stable reference points for monitoring body temperature in marine mammals are open blowhole in cetaceans and eyes in pinnipeds




Melero M., Rodriguez-Prieto V., Rubio-Garcia A., Garcia-Parraga D. and Sanchez-Vizcaino JM..




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Thermal reference points as an index for monitoring body temperature in marine mammals

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Thermal reference points as an index for monitoring body temperature in marine mammals

Participants:

Universidad ComplutenseServicio de Inmunología Viral y Medicina Preventiva (SUAT). Centro de Vigilancia Sanitaria Veterinaria (VISAVET). Universidad Complutense (UCM).

Universidad ComplutenseDepartamento de Sanidad Animal. Facultad de Veterinaria. Universidad Complutense (UCM).

Generalitat ValencianaOceanogràfic. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Generalitat Valenciana.







BMC research notes
FACTOR YEAR Q
N/A

NLMID: 101462768

PMID: 26338544

ISSN: 1756-0500



TITLE: Thermal reference points as an index for monitoring body temperature in marine mammals


JOURNAL: BMC Res Notes


NUMERACIÓN: 8(1):411


AÑO: 2015


PUBLISHER: London : Biomed Central, 2008


AUTHORS: Melero M., Rodriguez-Prieto V., Rubio-Garcia A., Garcia-Parraga D. and Sanchez-Vizcaino JM..


VISAVET PARTICIPANTS


First
Mar Melero Asensio
Last
José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno Rodríguez

DOI: https://doi.org/ 10.1186/s13104-015-1383-6


CITE THIS PUBLICATION:

Melero M., Rodriguez-Prieto V., Rubio-Garcia A., Garcia-Parraga D. and Sanchez-Vizcaino JM. Thermal reference points as an index for monitoring body temperature in marine mammals. BMC research notes. 8(1):411. 2015. (A). ISSN: 1756-0500. DOI: 10.1186/s13104-015-1383-6


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