We determined the effects of sex, age, and environment (inbred, captive-wild, and wild animals) on selected blood parameters of the cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) in central Oklahoma (USA) from 1990 to 1994. Male and female cotton rats had similar blood profiles. Age-related differences were confined to differential white blood cell counts where adults possessed greater numbers of neutrophils and lower numbers of lymphocytes compared to juveniles. Environment had a strong influence on many hematological parameters. Hematocrit, hemoglobin concentration, RBC count, and eosinophil number were generally greater for wild stocks compared to inbred animals, and differences were more pronounced for adults than juveniles.
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Vol. 32 • No. 2