Feeding and fasting trials were conducted with 2 groups (A and B) of 4 gray wolves (Canis lupus) each during January 1980. The groups were fed for 9 days and fasted for 10 days in a cross-over design. Blood and urine samples and weight data were collected every 2-3 days during each trial. Hemoglobin (Hb) concentrations, red blood cell (RBC) counts, and hematocrits (HCT) were elevated in both groups during fasting. White blood cell (WBC) counts, serum urea nitrogen (SUN), triiodothyronine (T3), and insulin concentrations decreased during fasting in Groups A and B. Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), serum cholesterol, triglyceride, and iron (Fe) concentrations were diminished in fasted Group A wolves compared to fed Group B. Creatine phosphokinase (CPK) concentrations were elevated in fed Group A wolves. Serum creatinine (C) concentrations were reduced in both groups during feeding. Urinary urea: creatinine (U:C), potassium:creatine (K:C), and sodium:creatinine (Na:C, pooled Group A and B data) ratios decreased in fasted wolves. Differences were not found between fed and fasted wolves for mean corpuscular volume (MCV), serum cortisol, glucose, calcium (Ca), bilirubin, serum glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), alkaline phosphatase, and luteinizing hormone (LH) concentrations, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), and urinary calcium: creatine (Ca:C) ratios. Analysis of multiple blood or urine samples collected from free-ranging wolves would be useful in enabling researches and managers to identify the nutritional status and general health of wolves over time.
Additional publication details
Effects of feeding and fasting on wolf blood and urine characteristics