Using Deuterium Oxide as a Non-Invasive, Non-Lethal Tool for Assessing Body Composition and Water Consumption in Mammals
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Journal of Visualized Experiments
Body condition scoring systems and body condition indices are common techniques used for assessing the health status or fitness of a species. Body condition scoring systems are evaluator dependent and have the potential to be highly subjective. Body condition indices can be confounded by foraging, the effects of body weight, as well as statistical and inferential problems. An alternative to body condition scoring systems and body condition indices is using a stable isotope such as deuterium oxide to determine body composition. The deuterium oxide dilution method is a repeatable, quantitative technique used to estimate body composition in humans, wildlife, and domestic species. Additionally, the deuterium oxide dilution technique can be used to determine the water consumption of an individual animal. Here, we describe the adaption of the deuterium oxide dilution technique for assessing body composition in big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) and for assessing water consumption in cats (Felis catis).
KeywordsEnvironmental Sciences Issue 156 animals bat body composition chiroptera cat carnivore deuterium oxide endangered species health status insectivore lean muscle mass minimally invasive
Hooper, Sarah E.; Eshelman, Amanda N.; Cowan, Ashley N.; Roistacher, Alicia; Paneitz, Tyler S.; Amelon, Sybill K. 2020. Using Deuterium Oxide as a Non-Invasive, Non-Lethal Tool for Assessing Body Composition and Water Consumption in Mammals. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 156: e59442. 11 p. https://doi.org/10.3791/59442.