Hematology and plasma biochemistry parameters are useful in the assessment and management of threatened and endangered species. Although reference ranges are readily available for many mammalian species, reference ranges for snakes are lacking for most species. We determined hematology and plasma biochemistry reference ranges for giant garter snakes (Thamnophis gigas) and valley garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi) living in four management areas in the Central Valley of California. White blood cell, heterophil, lymphocyte, and azurophil counts in giant garter snakes were approximately twice the values of valley garter snakes. Statistically significant differences in aspartate aminotransferase, globulin, and potassium between the two species did not appear clinically significant. No significant differences were found in the measured parameters between male and female giant garter snakes. Some differences were found among collection sites. These reference ranges provide baseline data for comparisons over time and between collection sites.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2