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1 October 1999 ANTIBIOTIC TREATMENT AND POST-HANDLING SURVIVAL OF REINDEER CALVES IN ALASKA
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Abstract

Free ranging reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) are driven into corral systems and handled each summer on the Seward Peninsula (Alaska, USA). During June and July of 1995–96 reindeer calves were inspected for injury, handled, weighed, and randomly treated with long-acting oxytetracycline. Calves that returned to subsequent handlings within the same year, received treatment only if they had been treated during their first handling. The effects of prophylactic antibiotic treatment and other factors, including weight, handling related injury, and sex on post-handling survival in reindeer calves were evaluated. Return rates of yearlings in 1996 and 1997 were analyzed using logistic regression. Weight change of calves between handlings was examined using a general linear model. Calf weight and handling injury were the only factors that significantly affected calf survival. No factor had a significant effect on calf weight change between handlings. Apparently, long-acting oxytetracycline was not an effective prophylactic treatment for this capture operation. The benefits of prophylactic antibiotic treatment have not been quantified and further studies of the effects and efficacy of prophylactic treatments are recommended. Ineffective treatments should be avoided because they may add additional stress to the captured animal. Managers should evaluate the potential effectiveness of a prophylactic treatment before indiscriminately applying one. Preventing calf injuries was the most effective method of reducing post-handling mortality in this study and should be given a high priority in the design of capture operations.

Pietsch, Finstad, Bevins, and Prichard: ANTIBIOTIC TREATMENT AND POST-HANDLING SURVIVAL OF REINDEER CALVES IN ALASKA
Gregory S. Pietsch, Gregory L. Finstad, Julia S. Bevins, and Alex K. Prichard "ANTIBIOTIC TREATMENT AND POST-HANDLING SURVIVAL OF REINDEER CALVES IN ALASKA," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 35(4), 735-740, (1 October 1999). https://doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-35.4.735
Received: 13 July 1998; Published: 1 October 1999
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