Rebecca Kraut

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2017


Respiratory disease is one of the most common causes of illness and mortality among Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Rising rates of respiratory disease has led researchers, managed care facilities and veterinary teams to enhance efforts to better detect, properly diagnose, treat and mitigate respiratory illnesses. This study analyzes breathing behavior and blood parameter data in an attempt to develop a non-invasive assessment to assist in the diagnosis of respiratory disease in bottlenose dolphins. Statistical analysis shows that inhalation durations (lengths of dolphin breaths) are more indicative of respiratory disease than respiration rate, and that some blood parameters (LDH and iron) are more indicative of respiratory disease than others. However, an accurate assessment cannot be created based solely on breathing behavior and blood parameters. It is a start in the development process, but more information, in the form of cytology tests results, detailed behavioral notes, and diet and feeding records, needs to be collected and compiled in order to make a non-invasive differential monitoring assessment successful for diagnosis in the future.


Department: MBE

MPS Track: MMS

Location: Dolphins Plus

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