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Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy

The Journal of National Veterinary Research Institute in Pulawy

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Effect of thermal stress on physiological and blood parameters in merino sheep

Krzysztof Wojtas
  • Department of Environmental Hygiene and Animal Welfare, Faculty of Biology and Animal Sciences, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 51-630 Wroclaw, Poland
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/ Przemysław Cwynar
  • Department of Environmental Hygiene and Animal Welfare, Faculty of Biology and Animal Sciences, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 51-630 Wroclaw, Poland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Roman Kołacz
  • Department of Environmental Hygiene and Animal Welfare, Faculty of Biology and Animal Sciences, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 51-630 Wroclaw, Poland
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Published Online: 2014-06-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bvip-2014-0043


Fifteen sheep where placed in climatic chamber and exposed to a high temperature (30°C). Then, the air movement was induced in order to examine its soothing effect on heat stress. The physiological reactions like respiratory and heart rates, as well as the morphologic, biochemical parameters and cortisol levels in blood were examined. It was found that under heat stress conditions, the respiratory rate increased up to 96.43 breaths/min, heart rate up to 107.79 beats/min, and white blood cells count decreased to 9.12 k/μL. The increased level of potassium, chlorine, and calcium was also observed. The increased air movement resulted in thermal stress soothing. A decrease in respiratory rate, heart rate, and cortisol concentration was observed. The study demonstrated that heat stress leads to serious changes in physiological and blood parameters in sheep but this effect can be minimised by air movement.

Keywords: sheep; heat stress; air movement; physiological parameters; cortisol.


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About the article

Received: 2013-06-17

Accepted: 2014-06-05

Published Online: 2014-06-17

Published in Print: 2014-06-01

Citation Information: Bulletin of the Veterinary Institute in Pulawy, Volume 58, Issue 2, Pages 283–288, ISSN (Online) 2300-3235, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bvip-2014-0043.

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© National Veterinary Research Institute in Pulawy. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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