Background: Blood biochemistry and hematology are essential in the laboratory diagnosis of disease. In Strigiformes, little information regarding reference values and influence of different preanalytic factors is available, while age is known to have an effect on some biochemistry analytes, especially in early life characterized by a rapid growth rate and increase in body mass. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine baseline data for 29 blood biochemistry variables in 5 species of Iberian Strigiformes assigned to different age classes. Methods: Healthy nocturnal birds living in wildlife health centers of Catalonia, Northeastern Spain were assigned to different age classes (chicks, juveniles, adults where possible and available) and their blood was collected and analyzed for different standard biochemistry variables. Species included Tawny owls, Little owls, Long-eared owls, Scop owls, and Barn owls. Results: A total of 276 clinically healthy animals were sampled, including between 179 chicks, 52 juveniles, and 45 adults. The RIs of cholesterol, albumin, and osmolality were the only variables that did not show interspecific variability. Common trends between age class groups were observed in 4 species. Phosphorus and calcium concentrations and ALP activities decreased with increasing age, while concentrations of sodium and γ-globulins tended to increase in the Strigidae family. Differences were concentrated in chicks and no differences were observed between juveniles and adults in any variable. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate the importance of defining biochemical RIs specific for certain age classes.
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