Presentation Title

Trazodone Hydrochloride improves laboratory rabbit tractability

Faculty Mentor

Cord Brundage

Start Date

18-11-2017 2:15 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 3:15 PM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 48

Session

Poster 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Stress during physical examinations of laboratory rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) can be decreased using sedation in order to facilitate handling and minimize both stress and injuries. Trazodone hydrochloride (TZN) is a selective serotonin antagonist and serotonin reuptake inhibitor which has been used to treat stress and anxiety in humans, dogs and cats, but has not been used therapeutically in rabbits. We developed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover study to evaluate the effect of one time TZN treatment (20mg/kg by mouth) on New Zealand laboratory rabbit doe sedation and rabbit agonistic/aggressive behaviors. Fasted animals (n =18) were examined by a veterinarian, in addition to assessing their normal health parameters, each animal was scored on their level of sedation/compliance prior to receiving either TZN or an equivalent volume of placebo. Each rabbit was then monitored, video recorded and their activity and behaviors were tracked using an ethogram for 180 minutes. At 180 minutes post treatment (time of maximum concentration) each animal was reexamined by a veterinarian and their level of sedation was again scored. Following a 72-hour washout period the process was repeated, those animals who had received the placebo then received TZN and vice versa. The examining veterinarian and all researchers were blinded to the treatment groups. Rabbits who received a placebo had demonstrated only small differences in behavior (4% decrease in tension, 8% decrease in tractability, 3% decrease in complete composite score, and a 5% increase in struggling). Rabbits who received TZN showed significant differences in aggression, tension, struggling, and overall tractability. In rabbits given TZN, aggressiveness, tension, struggling and overall tractability decreased significantly (p < 0.05) and their complete composite handling score decreased by 34%. This data suggest that TZN may be an acceptable option to use in laboratory rabbits to improve hsnfl;ing/examination tractability.

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Nov 18th, 2:15 PM Nov 18th, 3:15 PM

Trazodone Hydrochloride improves laboratory rabbit tractability

BSC-Ursa Minor 48

Stress during physical examinations of laboratory rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) can be decreased using sedation in order to facilitate handling and minimize both stress and injuries. Trazodone hydrochloride (TZN) is a selective serotonin antagonist and serotonin reuptake inhibitor which has been used to treat stress and anxiety in humans, dogs and cats, but has not been used therapeutically in rabbits. We developed a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized crossover study to evaluate the effect of one time TZN treatment (20mg/kg by mouth) on New Zealand laboratory rabbit doe sedation and rabbit agonistic/aggressive behaviors. Fasted animals (n =18) were examined by a veterinarian, in addition to assessing their normal health parameters, each animal was scored on their level of sedation/compliance prior to receiving either TZN or an equivalent volume of placebo. Each rabbit was then monitored, video recorded and their activity and behaviors were tracked using an ethogram for 180 minutes. At 180 minutes post treatment (time of maximum concentration) each animal was reexamined by a veterinarian and their level of sedation was again scored. Following a 72-hour washout period the process was repeated, those animals who had received the placebo then received TZN and vice versa. The examining veterinarian and all researchers were blinded to the treatment groups. Rabbits who received a placebo had demonstrated only small differences in behavior (4% decrease in tension, 8% decrease in tractability, 3% decrease in complete composite score, and a 5% increase in struggling). Rabbits who received TZN showed significant differences in aggression, tension, struggling, and overall tractability. In rabbits given TZN, aggressiveness, tension, struggling and overall tractability decreased significantly (p < 0.05) and their complete composite handling score decreased by 34%. This data suggest that TZN may be an acceptable option to use in laboratory rabbits to improve hsnfl;ing/examination tractability.