Title

L-Tryptophan and Correlates of Self-Injurious Behavior in Small-Eared Bushbabies (Otolemur garnettii)

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2009

Abstract

Self-injurious behavior (SIB) among captive primates is a recurring problem for those who manage such facilities. Its prevalence highlights the need for research evaluating the effectiveness of potential treatment approaches. In the present study, 4 wk of dietary supplementation with L-tryptophan (100 mg daily) was evaluated for the treatment of self-inflicted wounds in 22 small-eared bushbabies, a prosimian primate, with a history of SIB. The treatment significantly reduced stereotypy and was associated with a reduction in wound area and severity. In terms of physiologic measures, preexisting high levels of cortisol were reduced in bushbabies with SIB, whereas serotonin concentrations were increased after 4 wk of treatment. Results indicate that L-tryptophan as a dietary supplement may be a viable adjunct to standard husbandry procedures for animals exhibiting maladaptive behaviors such as stereotypy and SIB.

Publication Title

Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science

Volume

48

Issue

2

First Page

185

Last Page

191