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Body condition scoring system for greater one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis): development and application


Heidegger, Eva M. Body condition scoring system for greater one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis): development and application. 2016, University of Zurich, Vetsuisse Faculty.

Abstract

Preventing obesity in zoo animals is increasingly recognized as an important husbandry objective. To achieve this goal, body condition scoring (BCS) systems are available for an ever-increasing number of species. Here, we present a BCS for the greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) based on an evaluation (on a scale from 1-5) of 7 different body regions, and report resulting scores for 62 animals from 27 facilities, based on digital photographs. In animals above 4 years of age, this BCS correlated with the body mass:shoulder height ratio. Although differences between the sexes for individual regions were noted (with consistently higher scores in males for the neck, shoulder and rump, and in parous females for the abdomen), the average BCS of all regions did not differ significantly between males (4.3 ± 0.4) and females (4.1 ± 0.5). In a very limited sample of 11 females, those 8 that had been diagnosed with leiomyoma in a previous study had a higher BCS (range 3.9-4.9) than the 3 that had been diagnosed as leiomyoma-free (range 3.5-3.7). The BCS was correlated to the amount of food offered as estimated from the questionnaire. Adjusting the amount and the nutritional quality of the diet components is an evident measure to maintain animals at a target BCS (suggested as 3-3.5).

Abstract

Preventing obesity in zoo animals is increasingly recognized as an important husbandry objective. To achieve this goal, body condition scoring (BCS) systems are available for an ever-increasing number of species. Here, we present a BCS for the greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) based on an evaluation (on a scale from 1-5) of 7 different body regions, and report resulting scores for 62 animals from 27 facilities, based on digital photographs. In animals above 4 years of age, this BCS correlated with the body mass:shoulder height ratio. Although differences between the sexes for individual regions were noted (with consistently higher scores in males for the neck, shoulder and rump, and in parous females for the abdomen), the average BCS of all regions did not differ significantly between males (4.3 ± 0.4) and females (4.1 ± 0.5). In a very limited sample of 11 females, those 8 that had been diagnosed with leiomyoma in a previous study had a higher BCS (range 3.9-4.9) than the 3 that had been diagnosed as leiomyoma-free (range 3.5-3.7). The BCS was correlated to the amount of food offered as estimated from the questionnaire. Adjusting the amount and the nutritional quality of the diet components is an evident measure to maintain animals at a target BCS (suggested as 3-3.5).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation
Referees:Clauss Marcus
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:19 Jan 2017 13:02
Last Modified:23 Aug 2017 00:51
Number of Pages:15
Related URLs:http://www.recherche-portal.ch/ZAD:UVET:ebi01_prod010694547 (Library Catalogue)

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