Reference intervals for mineral concentrations in whole blood and serum of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in California

Robert H Poppenga, Jennifer Ramsey, Ben J. Gonzales, Christine K Johnson

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10 Scopus citations


Whole blood and serum mineral concentrations were measured in diverse bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) metapopulations in California, and 90% reference intervals were determined. While there were some statistical differences between median concentrations among the different metapopulations, detected values were generally in good agreement with concentrations reported for other bighorn sheep populations and with reference ranges widely accepted for domestic sheep (Ovis aries). Although median whole blood selenium and serum copper concentrations were within adequate ranges reported for domestic sheep, some metapopulations had substantial numbers of individuals whose concentrations would be considered suboptimal for domestic sheep. There are a number of factors that can influence mineral concentrations in wildlife species such as bighorn sheep and that make the establishment of reference ranges challenging. However, the establishment of mineral reference ranges is important for such species, as their health and productivity are increasingly scrutinized and actively managed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-538
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012



  • Bighorn sheep
  • Ovis canadensis
  • serum
  • trace elements
  • whole blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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