GALLEGO, P. (2002)
Untersuchungen der Zellbiologie des Blas bei Delfinen.
Investigation of dolphin blow cytology.
Tiermedizinische Fakultät, Universität Lüttich, Belgien
Leitung: Prof. Dr. Freddy Coignoul
u.a. Zoo Duisburg
Respiratory disease is one of the main causes of mortality in dolphins; in humane care, respiratory health control is of paramount importance. Blow cytology is a simple, inexpensive and non-invasive diagnostic tool for this purpose. Eight European dolphinaria with 43 bottlenose dolphins, 1 beluga and 1 Commerson’s dolphin participated in this study over a three-month period. The animals exhaled on Petri dishes containing two microscope slides; one of these slides was stained with a Romanowsky-type stain while the other was fixed in methanol for later specific staining.
Aims of this study: establishment of individual blow cytology baselines, differentiation between normal and pathological observations and identification of unequivocal cytological signs of inflammation of the respiratory tract. Fibrin was present in few occasions. Leukocytes were often observed, mostly without associated symptoms. Different types of ciliates and flagellates were observed. Some animals developed respiratory disease during the survey; in some cases, cytological results considering the origin, sex and age of the animals.
We believe that a regular and continuous follow-up of the blow cytology is a useful diagnostic tool to assess the health status of the respiratory system in dolphins.