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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

versão On-line ISSN 2219-0635

Onderstepoort j. vet. res. vol.76 no.3 Cape Town  2009

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Blood platelet counts, morphology and morphometry in lions, Panthera leo

 

 

L. du Plessis

Electron Microscope Unit, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa

 

 


ABSTRACT

Due to logistical problems in obtaining sufficient blood samples from apparently healthy animals in the wild in order to establish normal haematological reference values, only limited information regarding the blood platelet count and morphology of free-living lions (Panthera leo) is available. This study provides information on platelet counts and describes their morphology with particular reference to size in two normal, healthy and free-ranging lion populations. Blood samples were collected from a total of 16 lions. Platelet counts, determined manually, ranged between 218 and 358 x 109/l. Light microscopy showed mostly activated platelets of various sizes with prominent granules. At the ultrastructural level the platelets revealed typical mammalian platelet morphology. However, morphometric analysis revealed a significant difference (P < 0.001) in platelet size between the two groups of animals. Basic haematological information obtained in this study may be helpful in future comparative studies between animals of the same species as well as in other felids.

Keywords: Counts, lion, microscopy, morphology, morphometry, platelets


 

 

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Accepted for publication 16 March 2009-Editor

 

 

* E-mail: lizette.duplessis@up.ac.za

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