Abstract # 160:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 23 (Salon G (Sixth Floor)) Poster Presentation


OBTAINING VOLUNTARY BLOOD GLUCOSE SAMPLES FOR MANAGING TYPE II DIABETES IN A CAPTIVE COLONY OF CHIMPANZEES (PAN TROGLODYTES)

L. A. Reamer, R. L. Malling, E. J. Thiele, H. D. Freeman, S. J. Schapiro and S. P. Lambeth
Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, Department of Veterinary Sciences, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, TX 78602, USA
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As obesity is a concern in aging captive colonies of chimpanzees, development of type II diabetes is an increasingly frequent occurrence. Accurate Blood Glucose (BG) readings can be difficult to acquire, due to the effects of stress on glucose levels. Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT) is used to solicit voluntary cooperation to reduce stress and effectively manage animals during husbandry/veterinary procedures, including the administration of treatments for diabetes. We assessed cooperation of 152 chimpanzees to voluntarily allow blood glucose sampling and investigated factors that may contribute to individual success. Basic steps in obtaining a BG value include the animal voluntarily: presenting a finger/toe; allowing digit disinfection; holding for the lancet; and allowing blood to be collected on a glucometer test strip for immediate analysis. We recorded the number of animals that would allow this procedure when first asked. Twenty-nine percent of the chimpanzees allowed the complete procedure in one session, while over 60% voluntarily held for the lancet device, although blood was not expressed. Factors affecting success included rearing history (x2=14.087, df=2, p=0.001); training performance for ‘present-for-injection’ (x2=4.938, df=1, p=0.026), and personality (“openness”; r=.406, n=124, p=0.039). Neither age nor sex significantly affected success rates. The results of this study demonstrate the value of established PRT programs for the attainment of BG and related samples, which may be necessary to manage diabetes and other aging-related maladies.