Electrocardiographic consequences of a peripatetic lifestyle in gray wolves (Canis lupus)
Cardiac chamber enlargement and hypertrophy are normal physiologic responses to repetitive endurance exercise activity in human beings and domestic dogs. Whether similar changes occur in wild animals as a consequence of increased activity is unknown. We found that free-ranging gray wolves (Canis lupus, n=11), the archetypical endurance athlete, have electrocardiographic evidence of cardiac chamber enlargement and hypertrophy relative to sedentary captive gray wolves (n=20), as demonstrated by significant increases in QRS duration, QT interval, and QT interval corrected for heart rate, a tendency towards increased Q, R, and S wave voltages in all leads, and a significant decrease in heart rate. We conclude that exercise activity level and therefore lifestyle affects physiologic variables in wild animals. An immediate consequence of this finding is that physiologic measurements obtained from a captive wild-animal population with reduced exercise activity level may not accurately reflect the normal physiologic state for free-ranging members of the same species.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Electrocardiographic consequences of a peripatetic lifestyle in gray wolves (Canis lupus)|
|Series title||Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology|
|Contributing office(s)||Alaska Science Center|