The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) population has decreased by estimates of 80% in the past 20 yr due to the effects of devil facial tumor disease (DFTD). In the process of creating a DFTD-free insurance population, the captive population and the number of institutions housing devils worldwide has increased tremendously. In order to provide the best husbandry and veterinary care for these captive animals, it is essential to know normal hematology and biochemistry values for the species. Baseline reference intervals (RIs) were determined for hematology and biochemistry variables for 170 healthy anesthetized captive Tasmanian devils and significant sex and age differences were determined. Higher relative neutrophil counts, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), creatinine, creatine phosphokinase, and cholesterol were seen in males compared to females, whereas higher white cell counts (WBC) and lymphocyte counts (absolute and relative) were seen in females. Subadults have higher red blood cell counts, WBC, lymphocytes (absolute and relative), calcium and phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, glutamate dehydrogenase, glucose, and albumin than adults; whereas, adults have higher relative neutrophils, relative eosinophils, mean corpuscular volume, MCH, platelets, total solids, total plasma proteins, globulins, and chloride than subadults. This study provides a comprehensive report of hematology and serum biochemistry RIs for healthy captive anesthetized Tasmanian devils and offers invaluable diagnostic information to care for the growing captive population of this endangered marsupial.
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