Hematology and serum chemistry of free trapped five-stripes palm squirrel (Funambulus pennanti)

Itamar Aroch*, R. King, B. Biton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Free-roaming five-striped squirrels (Funambulus pennanti), an invading species in Israel, were trapped in the Ramon crater, Negev desert, anesthetized and blood samples were collected for comprehensive hematology and serum chemistry analyses, which are described herein, and compared with data obtained for other squirrel species. Suggested reference intervals (RIs) were calculated. Polychromasia and Howell-Jolly bodies (HJB) were common findings, while mild metarubricytosis was present in 6/45 squirrels. In 30/53 animals (57%) intra-erythrocyte basophilic polygonal granular inclusions resembling HJBs in size and color were noted. The total leukocytes count was positively and significantly moderately to strongly correlated with the absolute neutrophil, monocyte and lymphocyte counts. The neutrophil and monocyte morphologies resembled that of their corresponding canine cells. Eosinophils were uncommon, and resembled porcine eosinophils, while basophils showed intense metachromasia and were rare. The ranges of the results of serum amylase, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), creatine kinase (CK) activities and of serum creatinine, phosphorus and urea concentrations were very wide. Serum total bilirubin (tBr) was >7 mg/dL in 41/41 squirrels. The proposed RI for β-hydroxybutyric acid is relatively higher compared to other species (0.5-3.7 mmol/L). There were significant weak to moderate positive correlations between several serum chemistry analytes, but not between serum creatinine and urea concentrations. Muscle alanine aminotransferase content in the five-striped palm squirrel was low and most of its activity was likely of hepatocellular origin. gamma-glutamyl-tranferase (GGT) activities in the five-striped squirrel was low. Serum ALP activity and serum phosphorus concentrations were moderately correlated and both analytes were higher in young animals compared to adults.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)28-39
Number of pages12
JournalIsrael Journal of Veterinary Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Israel Veterinary Medical Association. All rights reserved.


  • Clinical Pathology
  • Hematology
  • Serum Chemistry
  • Squirrel
  • Wildlife


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