Ameliorative effects of ascorbic acid on rectal temperature, excitability score and liveweight of rabbits transported by road
This experiment was performed with the aim of investigating the effects of ascorbic acid (AA) on stress due to road transportation of rabbits. Nine rabbits administered AA served as the treated animals, while seven others given sterile water were used as the controls. All the rabbits were transported by road for 2 h under standard conditions, and their rectal temperature (RT), excitability score and liveweight values were recorded before, during and after the transportation. The results showed that road transportation was stressful to all the rabbits, as evidenced by an increase in RT values of both the treated and control animals after the transportation. Post-transportation RT value in the control rabbits (39.67 ± 0.41°C) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than that of the treated rabbits (39.0 ± 0.16°C). The excitability scores of the rabbits decreased considerably following road transportation, especially in the control rabbits that were not administered AA. The liveweights of both the treated and control rabbits decreased on arrival. On day 1 post-transportation, the control rabbits lost 2.70% of the pretransportation liveweight, while the treated rabbits gained 2.37% of the pre-transportation liveweight. In conclusion, the administration of AA to rabbits prior to the commencement of the journey ameliorated the adverse effects of stress due to road transportation.
Key words: Road transportation, rectal temperature, liveweight, excitability score, ascorbic acid, rabbits.