n Journal of the South African Veterinary Association - ACTH stimulation test in the captive cheetah ()

Volume 78, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1019-9128
  • E-ISSN: 2224-9435



Serum cortisol response was assessed in 8 captive cheetahs, of varying ages, after the intravenous administration of 500 µg of tetracosactide (Synacthen Depot(R), Novartis, Kempton Park) while maintained under general anaesthesia. In addition, 8 cheetahs were anaesthetised and given an equal volume of saline in order to establish baseline cortisol concentrations at similar stages of anaesthesia. A significant difference in the median cortisol concentration measured over time was found following ACTH administration in the ACTH group ( < 0.001). There was no difference between the median cortisol concentrations in the ACTH group at time-points 120, 150 and 180 min after ACTH stimulation ( = 0.867). Thus it appears appropriate to collect serum 120 to 180 min after tetracosactide administration to assess maximal stimulation of the adrenal in the cheetah. No statistically significant rise was seen in the anaesthetised control group following the injection of saline ( = 0.238).

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