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Variation in Serum α-Tocopherol, Retinol, Cholesterol, and Selenium of Free-Ranging Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus)
Ellen S. Dierenfeld and David A. Jessup
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Vol. 21, No. 4 (Dec., 1990), pp. 425-432
Published by: American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20095094
Page Count: 8
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Serum α-tocopherol, retinol, cholesterol, and whole blood selenium levels were measured in 151 free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) from 14 locations in California. Data were compared by year (n = seven), season (n = four), age (n = three groups), migratory behavior, and sex. Herd mean α-tocopherol ranged from 0.8 to 4.2 μg/ml, with significantly higher levels in females versus males, migrators versus resident animals, and from samples collected in spring versus later in the year. Serum retinol varied from 0.19 to 0.46 μg/ml among herds; adults, females, and migratory deer had higher (P < 0.05) levels than appropriate comparison groups. Habitat influenced serum cholesterol more than other variables; α-tocopherol (μg/ml): cholesterol (mg/dl) ratios were consistently > 1.0. Selenium herd means ranged from 19.5 to 167.6 ng/ml; migratory animals had lower (P < 0.01) blood levels than residents. No significant correlations were observed among any of these measures, and stepwise regression analysis revealed no consistent prediction of deer body condition. Data suggest widely varying levels of vitamin E and other nutrients in natural diets consumed by mule deer. Such variability must be considered when assessing nutrient status from single blood samples.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine © 1990 American Association of Zoo Veterinarians