Effect of breath-hold on blood gas analysis in captive Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens).

Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 72(9):1221 (2010) PMID 20424395

The effect of a breath-hold on blood gas was evaluated in captive Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens). Serial blood collections were performed from a vessel on the ventral surface of the flukes during breath-hold. In total, 178 blood samples were taken from three dolphins for five trials in each animal. During a breath-hold, partial pressure of oxygen (Po₂) decreased from 152.5 to 21.8 mmHg and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (Po₂) conversely increased from 31.8 to 83.6 mmHg. The range of pH was 7.54 to 7.25, suggesting drastic change from alkalemia to acidemia. These wide ranges of blood gas imply a considerable change of oxygen affinity caused by the Bohr effect during breath-hold, which enable effective uptake and distribution of oxygen to metabolizing tissues.