Abstract # 2913 Poster # 36:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Medallion Ballroom C/D/E/F) Poster Presentation


HANDEDNESS AND ALOPECIA LOCATION CORRELATE IN RECENTLY RELOCATED SQUIRREL MONKEYS: A CASE STUDY

C. Coke Murphy and J. Szcodronski
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1161 21st Ave S, MCN AA6206, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
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During quarantine, 8 of 12 adult male squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis) presented with a similar alopecia location. Monkeys exhibited mild unilateral or bilateral alopecia on the dorsal forearms. The alopecia (AL) was not associated with dermatitis or other health concerns and excessive scratching was not observed. We suspected the hairloss was mechanical alopecia, therefore handedness should correlate with alopecia location (i.e., LT/RT handedness=LT /RT forearm AL, no hand preference=RT & LT forearm AL). A simple food reaching task at the feed opening was used to score hand preference (n=30 reaches/animal) and handedness was established by calculating the Handedness Index (HI) and z-scores for each animal [z score: >+1.64 or <-1.64; HI score: ±0.23]. The preferred manner for acquiring food items was through the smaller cage openings and not the feed opening. This resulted in contact between the animal’s dorsal forearm and the cage bars. Alopecia location and handedness were positively correlated [r=0.27, P=0.05]. All animals that were scored as either LT or RT handed showed unilateral alopecia on the corresponding forearm, and 2 of 3 ambidextrous animals exhibited bilateral alopecia. All alopecia resolved within 6-weeks. A correlation between handedness and alopecia was found, but we suspect because of the quick resolution of the alopecia that the recent relocation (transportation stress, new caging) may have contributed to the alopecia.