Abstract # 1922 Event # 13:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2006 10:00 AM-10:15 AM: Session 2 (Regency East #2) Oral Presentation


OCCURRENCE OF FLOATING LIMB BEHAVIOR IN PIGTAIL MACAQUES (Macaca nemestrina) DURING THE OVERNIGHT HOURS

E. K. Skoumbourdis1,2 and J. L. Weed2
1SoBran Inc, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA, 2DVR, ORS, NIH, DHHS
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     Floating limb behavior (FLT), an unconscious elevation of a limb, occurs in several macaque species throughout the day. Although the etiology of this behavior is unknown, it is thought to stem from stress, pain, or other unknown triggers. While FLT itself does not cause any clinical problems, it sometimes leads to self-injurious behaviors (SIB). Since many injuries are discovered during the early morning hours during feeding, it is reasonable to suggest that animals may suffer from FLT during the overnight and could be injuring themselves when it occurs. To test this hypothesis, four pigtail macaques (Macaca nemestrina) observed to have FLT and/or SIB during the daylight hours and two control pigtails were recorded in their home cages overnight. Using an infrared camera, animals were video taped from the hours of 10 pm until 6 am on three separate occasions. Video was scored and number of incidences of FLT were counted and classified as non-aggressive or aggressive (animal attacks the limb). Data indicated that, relative to control animals, at least two of the animals showed sleep disturbances, interrupted sleep and active FLT leading to self biting behavior towards the early morning hours. These observations suggest that sleep disturbances possibly exacerbate FLT which may lead to further instances of SIB; findings that may be helpful in formulating treatment options for this idiopathic behavior.