Indices to nutritional status of domestic and wild rabbits
Henke, Scott E
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Serum and vitreous humor constituents at time of death (TOD) and vitreous humor constituents at TOD and 7 postmortem intervals (PMI) were compared in 70 domestic, female New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Urea nitrogen (UN) was different but correlated in serum and vitreous humor at TOD and the 4- and 8-hr PMI's. Gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT) was similar but not correlated in serum and vitreous humor at TOD and in vitreous humor at TOD and the 4-hr PMI. The remaining vitreous humor constituents were neither similar to nor predictive of serum constituents. The vitreous humor can be used as a source for estimates of serum UN and GGT up to 8-hrs and 4-hrs postmortem, respectively. The responses of serum and vitreous humor constituents to two levels of handling stress were compared in 20 adult, male black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Vitreous humor constituents were similar to or linearly correlated to serum constituents for UN, glucose, triglycerides, GGT, creatine phosphokinase (CPK), and glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT). The remaining vitreous humor constituents were neither similar to nor predictive of serum constituents. Vitreous humor UN, glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol, and serum glucose, cholesterol, total protein, GGT, lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), CPK, and GOT were affected by handling stress. The vitreous humor could be a source for estimates of total protein, albumin, GGT, LDH, CPK, and GOT in cases where acute handling stress could bias serum values once additional baseline vitreous humor constituent values are determined. The responses of serum and vitreous humor constituents to two levels of nutrition were compared in 23 adult, male black-tailed jackrabbits. The vitreous humor constituents were similar or linearly correlated to serum constituents for UN, triglycerides, CPK, and GOT. The remaining vitreous humor constituents were neither similar to nor predictive of serum constituents. Vitreous humor cholesterol, albumin, total protein, and GGT, and serum UN, triglycerides, cholesterol, total protein, albumin, and GGT were affected by 25% feed restriction. Vitreous humor has potential as a source for biochemical indicators of nutritional intake once additional baseline vitreous humor constituent values are determined. Responses of blood, urine, and physical condition indices in 23 adult, male black-tailed jackrabbits to ad libitum feed and 25% feed restriction were measured during 30 May-12 June 1988. Feed restricted jackrabbits had lower post-trial body weights and kidney fat indices, higher femur marrow fat, higher serum bilirubin and serum Cortisol, and depressed immune function. No one index alone could best measure the nutritional status of jackrabbits. A serological survey for Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) (Rickettsia rickettsii)/ Boreiia spp. including Boreiia burgdorferi the causative agent for Lyme disease, and sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) was conducted on blood samples from 30 and 4 6 black-tailed jackrabbits during 1 to 7 December 1987 and 30 April to 8 May 1988, respectively. Positive antibody titers to RMSF, borreliosis, and plague were detected in 28, 1, and 0% of the jackrabbits, respectively. Rickettsiae, spirochetes, or associated antigens were not detected in the tissues or whole blood samples; plague antibodies were not detected in any of the 7 6 jackrabbits sampled. Four of 18 ticks (Dermacentor parumapertus) removed from 12 jackrabbits tested positive for RMSF by the fluorescent antibody test. Black-tailed jackrabbits possibly are reservoir hosts for RMSF in western Texas. Due to the absence of the normal tick vectors and deer in the study area, it is doubtful that Lyme disease is an inqportant zoonosis in urban environments of western Texas.
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