Abstract # 6252 Event # 150:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 03:30 PM-03:45 PM: (Cascade H) Oral Presentation


MINIMIZING THE LIFETIME SEVERITY OF SELF-INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR IN AFFECTED RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

K. C. Baker
Tulane National Primate Res. Center, 18703 Three Rivers Rd., Covington, LA 70433, USA
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     Self-injurious behavior (SIB) can range from self-directed behavior that does not result in injury to self-wounding requiring humane euthanasia. SIB varies not only in its lifetime severity, but also in its initial presentation and lifetime trajectory. Among 409 rhesus macaques identified with SIB at the Tulane National Primate Research Center in the last decade, 149 initially presented with self-inflicted wounds and 260 presented with self-biting without wounds; 50 of these individuals later developing wounding. Preventing or at least forestalling such progression is essential for reducing the welfare impact of SIB for affected individuals, as well as SIB’s impact on long-term research use. The proportion of self-biters that progressed to wounding was not influenced by rearing (nursery-reared: 22%; mother-reared: 18%) or sex (females: 20%; males:19%). Housing history between initial presentation of self-biting and eventual wounding was compiled for progressors and a subset of non-progressors matched for age at presentation, sex, and rearing. Housing was categorized as predominantly single or predominantly social. There was a trend toward a larger proportion of the progressors having been housed singly prior to progression (54% vs. 34%; X2=3.5, p<0.06). In addition, progression occurred after a mean of 367 days in animals housed predominantly singly and 727 days in those housed predominantly socially (z=2.47 p<0.02). While social housing may not be sufficient for preventing progression, it may be key to slowing it.