Studies on blood and plasma biochemical characteristics of the African giant rat (Cricetomis gambianus)

  • B Okon
  • NB Idiong
Keywords: Giant rat, blood parameters, serum chemistry, domestication


A study to determine the blood parameters and plasma biochemical values of captive reared African giant rats (Cricetomis gambianus) were carried out. Twelve young giant rats within the age range of 6-7 weeks were intensively reared for 12 months. The rats were fed on commercial grower mash and water provided ad libitum. Two separate blood samples were collected from the jugular veins of eight rats at 4th, 8th and 12th month stages of the experiment. One group of the samples was used for haematological studies and the other for biochemical tests. Data collected
were analyzed in a Completely Randomized Design with growth stages as the treatments and the eight animals as replications. Where significant differences were observed, means were separated using Duncan’s Multiple Range test. Significant (P<0.05) treatment effect on haemoglobin and RBC contents were observed with content increasing with age of animal. Values for these parameters at the 8th (B2) and 12th (B3) months stages however, were statistically similar (P>0.05). Values of 2.00, 3.06 and 4.89 x 10w recorded as WBC content at the B1, B2 and B3 stages respectively were significantly different (P<0.05). The 3.06 x 10/w obtained at 8th month stage was statistically intermediate. Similar trend was observed for percent lymphocytes content of the blood. There were no significant
differences (P>0.05) in the PCV, FSR and CT of the blood samples at the three stages of growth. Protein content was highest in animals at the 4th month state (9.75g/dl) and lowest at the 12th month (2.23g/dl). Significant treatment differences (P<0.05) were also observed in cholesterol, alkaline phosphate and urea contents of the blood samples.
Conversely, values recorded for creatinine, bilirubin and albumin contents were not significantly different (P>0.05). Since the data collected from this study is indicative of satisfactory physiological, nutritional and pathological
conditions of the study animals, full-scale domestication and integration into the micro-livestock farming system is recommended.

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eISSN: 1596-2903