Alopecia scoring: The quantitative assessment of hair loss in captive macaques

Honess, Paul E.; Gimpel, Jessica L.; Wolfensohn, Sarah E.; Mason, Georgia J.

Keywords: stress, animal welfare, scoring system, alopecia, hair loss, over-grooming, primates


Many captive animals show forms of pelage loss that are absent in wild or free-living con-specifics, which result from grooming or plucking behaviours directed at themselves or at other individu-als. For instance, dorsal hair loss in primates such as rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in researchfacilities, results from excessive hair-pulling or over-grooming by cage-mates. This behaviour appears to beassociated with stress, and is controllable to some extent with environmental enrichment. Quantifyingalopecia in primates (as in many species) is therefore potentially useful for welfare assessment. A simplesystem for scoring alopecia was developed and its reliability was tested. Study 1 showed high inter-observer reliability between two independent scorers in assessing the state of monkeys’ coats from photo-graphs. Study 2 showed that there were no significant differences between the scores derived fromphotographs and from direct observations. Thus, where hair loss due to hair pulling exists in captive pri-mates, this scoring system provides an easy, rapid, and validated quantitative method, for use in assessingthe success of attempts to reduce it via improved husbandry. In the future, such scoring systems might alsoprove useful for quantifying barbering in laboratory rodents. (3) Alopecia scoring: The quantitative assessment of hair loss in captive macaques. Available from: [accessed Jun 29 2018].

Más información

Título de la Revista: Alternatives to laboratory animals: ATLA
Volumen: 33
Número: 3
Editorial: FRAME
Fecha de publicación: 2005
Página de inicio: 193
Página final: 206
Idioma: English