Effects of Fluphenazine Decanoate on Reproductive Cyclicity and Cortisol Levels in Central Chinese Goral (Naemorhedus goral)
Long-acting neuroleptics (LANs) have been used for behavioral management of ungulates in captivity and for translocation for many years.1,3,5 With half-lives ranging from hours to days, LANs can aid behavioral management by decreasing aversive and aggressive behaviors and, potentially, stress responses in ungulates under intensive management conditions. Theoretically, their use could augment breeding situations in species prone to stress or intraspecific aggression. However, their mechanism of action is competitive antagonism of dopamine, which is associated with alteration of prolactin and gonadotropin release.2,4,6 Little is known about LAN effects on the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge and ovulation in artiodactylids. This study was designed to assess the effects of fluphenazine decanoate on ovulation and stress in a small antelope species undergoing intensive handling by measuring serum LH, progestin and cortisol, and monitoring daily follicular development by ultrasound. Seven central Chinese goral (Naemorhedus goral) were randomly assigned to two groups: A) treatment with 1 mg/kg fluphenazine decanoate IM (n=4), or B) control, saline injection IM (n=3). Reproductive cyclicity in both groups was synchronized using 7-day controlled internal drug release devices (CIDR-G; Pfizer AG, Karlsruhe, Germany) containing 330 mg progesterone, combined with 8 mg IM prostaglandin F2α at CIDR insertion. Beginning 24 h following CIDR removal, blood was collected from each animal every 6 h for 96 h, and ultrasound examinations were performed every 24 h. Serum cortisol concentrations were lower in the treatment group (p<0.05), however, fluphenazine decanoate appears to affect ovarian response to synchronization in this species.
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