Simple Summary Although cortisol is usually considered the main reference for the assessment of stress, in some animal species it has been shown that prolactin can be used as a biomarker of both acute and chronic stress. Behavioural parameters can also be used to assess the state of welfare and stress. This study was aimed at evaluating the possible relationship between serum prolactin, serum cortisol and behavioural signs of stress in domestic dogs. To reduce the possible influence of some factors, the study was performed on a homogeneous sample formed by 40 castrated male Spanish Greyhound dogs housed in a dog shelter. The weak negative correlation found between serum cortisol and prolactin values agrees with results obtained in other studies, indicating that prolactin response might be an alternative to cortisol response. Prolactin has been recently regarded as a potential biomarker of both acute and chronic stress in several species. Since only few studies until now have focussed on domestic dogs, this study was aimed at evaluating whether prolactin, cortisol and stress behaviour correlated with each other in sheltered dogs. Both cortisol and prolactin analysis were performed in serum samples through a hormone-specific ELISA kit. For each dog, a stress score was calculated by summing the number of occurrences of stress-related behaviours. The presence/absence of fear during the time spent in the collection room was also scored for each individual. Results revealed a weak negative correlation between cortisol and prolactin levels. Neither of the hormones was correlated with the stress score, nor did their values seem to be influenced by showing fear in the collection room. The weak negative correlation found between cortisol and prolactin values agrees with results obtained in other studies, indicating that prolactin response might be an alternative to cortisol response. This, together with the high serum prolactin levels compared to those reported by other authors for healthy domestic dogs, may indicate that prolactin might be a good biomarker of chronic stress, and although further studies are needed to better understand the potential role of prolactin in the evaluation of canine welfare.
|Titolo:||Investigating the Role of Prolactin as a Potential Biomarker of Stress in Castrated Male Domestic Dogs|
|Parole Chiave:||behaviour; cortisol; dog; male; prolactin; shelter; Spanish Greyhound; stress|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/02 - Fisiologia Veterinaria|
|Data di pubblicazione:||12-set-2019|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9090676|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|