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Salivary IgA: a Possible Stress Marker In Dogs

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Abstract:

Stress in humans has been reported to be associated with a decrease in the salivary immunoglobulin A (s-IgA) levels enabling the possible use of s-IgA to assess stress. Prolonged stress, if reliably assessed in a non-invasive manner, may be used to assess animal welfare. This study analysed groups of dogs undergoing physical and temperamental training and s-IgA levels were measured by rocket immunoelectrophoresis in prospective samples. Behavioural assessment was carried out and cortisol levels in saliva were measured by ELISA. A significant negative correlation (P < 0.007) between the logarithmic cortisol concentrations and s-IgA levels in saliva was recorded. The behavioural assessment of the dogs agreed well with the biochemical markers. It is concluded that IgA levels in saliva may be a useful marker of dog well-being and that stress results in decreased s-IgA levels.

Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; BEHAVIOUR; CORTISOL; DOG; SALIVARY IGA (S-IGA); STRESS; WELL-BEING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1995

ufaw/aw/1995/00000004/00000004/art00007
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