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Stress associated with road transportation in desert sheep and goats, and the effect of pretreatment with xylazine or sodium betaine

Ali, B.H., Al-Qarawi, A.A., Mousa, H.M.
Research in veterinary science 2006 v.80 no.3 pp. 343-348
sheep, sheep diseases, goats, goat diseases, desert animals, animal stress, animal transport, pretreatment, xylazine, betaine, drug evaluation, pharmacokinetics, dosage, intravenous injection, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), cardiovascular system, respiratory system, endocrine system, blood composition, statistical analysis, animal welfare, Saudi Arabia
The present work investigates some clinical, endocrinological, biochemical and haematological variables in desert sheep and goats stressed in the course of individual road transportation, and the influence thereon of pretreatment with an established anti-stressor drug, xylazine HCl, and a test compound, sodium betaine (trimethylglycine). Road transportation for 2 h resulted in variable and statistically insignificant increases in heart, pulse and respiratory rates in both control and experimental animals. Transportation stress significantly increased the concentrations of plasma cortisol, and glucose, and decreased that of magnesium. The endogenous thiocyanate concentration was unaffected. The stress also insignificantly decreased the haematocrit (PCV), and the number of lymphocytes, and increased the concentration of haemoglobin. Pretreatment of sheep and goats with xylazine at a single dose of 0.01 mg/kg by the intravenous route significantly ameliorated the effects induced by the stressful stimulus. The effects of pretreatment of the two species with sodium betaine (10 mg/kg) produced variable and insignificant effects.