Our study focuses on the Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) from the Sierra Nevada Natural Space (southern Spain), where sarcoptic mange is an endemic disease and animals are affected by a highly seasonal environment. Our aim was to distinguish between disease and environmental influences on seasonal variation in body weight, hematology, and serum biochemistry in Iberian ibex. We sampled 136 chemically immobilized male ibexes. The single effect of mange influenced hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, leukocytes, band neutrophils, monocytes, cholesterol, urea, creatine, and aspartate aminotransferase. Both mange and the period of the year also affected values of mean corpuscular hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, neutrophils, glucose, and serum proteins. Scabietic animals showed a marked reduction in body weight (21.4 kg on average), which was more pronounced in winter. These results reveal that 1) infested animals are anemic, 2) secondary infections likely occur, and 3) sarcoptic mange is catabolic.
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Vol. 51 • No. 1