Age – related changes in serum biochemical parameters in the domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
The influence of age on serum biochemical components in the domestic rabbit was investigated. The serum total protein (g/dL), albumin (g/dL), globulin (g/dL), creatinine (mg/dL), urea mg/dL, cholesterol (mg/dL), Alkaline phosphatase (ALP; iu/l), Aspartate aminotranferase (AST; iu/l) and Alanine amimotransferase (ALT; iu/l) were assessed in 24 male rabbits at 7, 14 and 21 weeks of age to represent weaners, growers and pubertal stages. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and analysis of variance at a005 . Results of 0.05 serum biochemistry revealed a steady significant increase in total protein (4.2±0.3; 5.3±0.5; 6.9±0.2), albumin (2.2±0.7; 2.8±0.4; 4.0±0.2), globulin (1.9±0.3; 2.5±0.4, 2.9±0.2), cholesterol (49.5±1.1; 56.4±4.2; 62.4±5.4) and creatinine (0.8±0.1; 1.2±0.1; 1.9±0.3) at 7, 14 and 21 weeks respectively. Serum urea levels were similar across the ages. The values recorded for ALP and AST at 7 weeks (39.6±7.5; 101.1±6.7) and 14 weeks (38.7±6.4; 104.5±8.7) were significantly higher than the 21 weeks (33.5±2.7; 95.8±5.9) while ALT at 7 weeks (27.33±5.6) was significantly lower than 14 (38.2±3.9) and 21 weeks (37.4±3.0). The age of the rabbits had a significant effect on their serum biochemical parameters. They should therefore be grouped according to age when setting serum reference values for them.