The primary purpose of this study was to establish plasma biochemistry parameters for healthy recently wild-caught purple mouth moray eels (Gymnothorax vicinus) to provide a baseline of data for improved medical care in an aquarium or zoologic setting and for wild health assessments. Thirty-one clinically healthy purple mouth moray eels of unknown age and sex were caught from the wild, and were anesthetized 50 days following capture for blood collection from the ventral coccygeal vein. The median plasma biochemistry values were as follows: hematocrit = 21%, creatinine kinase = 2,100 U/L, lactate dehydrogenase = 97 U/L, aspartate aminotransferase = 88 U/L, alanine aminotransferase = 51 U/L, alkaline phosphatase 3,939 U/L, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase = 1 U/L, amylase = 40 U/L, blood urea nitrogen = <11 mg/dl, glucose = 21 mg/dl, calcium = 12.5 mg/dl, triglyceride = 206 mg/dl, creatinine = 0.1 mg/dl, cholesterol = 334 mg/dl, total bilirubin = <0.1 mg/dl, phosphorus = 6.5 mg/dl, total protein = 4.2 g/dl, albumin = 1.5 g/dl, globulin = 2.7 g/dl, albumin/globulin ratio = 0.6, sodium = 185 mmol/L, potassium = 3.7 mmol/L, and chloride = 175 mmol/L. Alkaline phosphatase isoenzyme results indicate that the majority of the plasma alkaline phosphatase is the liver isoenzyme. The data acquired in this study also provide baseline values for cholesterol and triglycerides in recently wild-caught moray eels to aid in monitoring elevations to these values in an aquarium setting over time so adjustments to the dietary regime may be utilized to prevent or improve conditions such as lipid keratopathy.
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