L-Tryptophan and Correlates of Self-Injurious Behavior in Small-Eared Bushbabies (Otolemur garnettii)
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.
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Watson, S. L.,
McCoy, J. G.,
Fontenot, M. B.,
Hanbury, D. B.,
Ward, C. P.
(2009). L-Tryptophan and Correlates of Self-Injurious Behavior in Small-Eared Bushbabies (Otolemur garnettii). Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 48(2), 185-191.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/1196