Haematology and serum biochemistry in captive Australian native murids: black-footed tree-rat (Mesembriomys gouldii) and greater stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor).

Research paper by Melissa L ML Tulk, Hayley J HJ Stannard, Julie M JM Old

Indexed on: 22 Sep '16Published on: 22 Sep '16Published in: SpringerPlus


The black-footed tree-rat (Mesembriomys gouldii) and greater stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor) are near threatened and vulnerable native Australian murids. There is a paucity of health and welfare knowledge for these species and native murids in general. In this paper we aimed to address this deficiency in knowledge by describing some key haematological and blood biochemistry parameters for these species. Haematology and blood biochemistry data were obtained from clinical histories of the two murid species held in captivity at Taronga Zoological Park, Mosman, Australia. The data were analysed to establish confidence intervals for each parameter available and leukocyte morphology described. White blood cell counts were higher in females than males. Both species also had high neutrophil:lymphocyte ratios (tree-rat ratios were almost even). Haematocrit was higher in male stick-nest rats than females. Differential leukocyte counts and leukocyte morphology was consistent with previous descriptions in other murids and between individuals. Blood biochemistry values were unremarkable except for the high level of globulin in stick-nest rats. The values provided in the study will add to the knowledge of health data for murids in captivity and aid captive and natural management of Australian native murids.