Submitted to: International Society of Applied Ethology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2008
Publication Date: 8/5/2008
Citation: Matthews, D.L., Poletto, R., Marchant Forde, J.N., Mann, D., Guinn, R., Peters, S., Hampsch, J., Zhu, Y., Kissinger, C.B. 2008. Plasma cortisol and norepinephrine concentrations in pigs: automated sampling of freely moving pigs housed in the PigTurn versus manually sampled and restrained pigs. International Society of Applied Ethology [abstract]. In: Eds. L. Boyle, N. O'Connell and A . Hanlon. Proceedings of the 42nd International Congress of the International Society of Applied Ethology. August 5-9, 2008, Dublin, Ireland. p. 126.
Technical Abstract: Minimizing effects of restraint and human interaction on the endocrine physiology of animals is essential for collection of accurate physiological measurements. Our objective was to compare stress-induced cortisol (CORT) and norepinephrine (NE) responses in automated versus manual blood sampling. A total of 16 pigs (30kg) were assigned to the following treatments: (i) completely automated blood sampling via an indwelling catheter using a novel penning system called PigTurn®, which detects the pig’s rotational movement and responds by counter-rotating, allowing free movement while preventing catheter twisting; (ii) automated sampling while exposed to visual and auditory responses of manually sampled pigs; (iii) manual sampling by jugular venipuncture while pigs were restrained in dorsal recumbency. During sampling of (i), personnel were not permitted in the room; sampling of (ii) and (iii) were performed at the same time points and room. Blood samples were collected every 20 min for 120 min. Plasma samples were measured for CORT (ng/mL) using mass spectrometry and NE (pg/mL) using HPLC. Data were analyzed for effects of treatment, time and their interaction with mixed models, adjusted by Tukey post-hoc, with individuals as units. CORT and NE concentrations were lowest in the automated sampled group (i), followed by group (ii), which were not different (CORT=27.0±2.1 and 32.7±2.7; NE=260.9±47.4 and 268.5±54.8; p>0.1). However, CORT and NE levels for manually sampled animals (iii) were higher (CORT=40.96±2.26, NE=747.0±61.5; p<0.05) compared to both automated methods (i and ii). Time points of collection were not different for CORT (p>0.1); but overall, NE level at time 0 was higher than at 80, 100 and 120 min (p<0.01). The presence of visual and auditory stimuli evoked by manual sampled animals did not affect non-handled pigs’ responses. Restraint and manual sampling of pigs can be extremely stressful while, the automated blood sampling of freely moving pigs, housed in the PigTurn®, was significantly less stressful for the animals.