Blood samples were obtained from 32 wolf (Canis lupus) pups live-trapped over a three-year period in northern Minnesota. The results of 21 laboratory analyses of hematology and blood chemistry are tabulated and analyzed in terms of study area, age, sex, and year of co11ection. Mean values are compared to those reported for dogs in the same age group. The numerous differences between dog and wolf pups are interpreted in terms of nutritional levels and dietary composition with the suggestion that the wolves are not achieving their full growth potential. Individual abnormal test results are tabulated and possible interpretations are suggested. Abnormal results were observed in 13 animals including 10 of 11 animals sampled in 1972. The results in the 1972 animals indicated a poorer nutrition. This preponderance of abnormal test results in pups from 1972 is correlated with ecological studies on this wolf population indicating decreased survival. The potential value of such long-term integrated field and laboratory studies for providing a more complete understanding of changes in the dynamics of natural populations in terms of the responses of individual animals is demonstrated.
Additional Publication Details
Blood analyses of wolf pups and their ecological and metabolic interpretation