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Anxious rabbits are more likely to have intraoperative apnoea

C. Krall, S. Glass, G. Dancourt and others

Applied Animal Behaviour Science (2019) 221

doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2019.104875

• What did the research find?

Nine of the 31 rabbits in this study exhibited behavioural signs of anxiety. These rabbits were significantly more likely to experience intraoperative apnoea (P=0.01) than rabbits that did not exhibit behavioural signs of anxiety. Anxious rabbits also tended to have a higher heart rate and greater cardiac instability during anaesthesia. In addition, irrespective of anxiety, rabbits that experienced preoperative apnoea were found to be significantly more difficult to intubate (P=0.001).

• How was it conducted?

A total of 31 singly-housed female rabbits that were scheduled for a brief experimental ophthalmic surgery were included in this study. Before surgery, the rabbits were assessed for anxiety using behavioural observations and a modified intruder test – both of which were performed in the home cage. On the day of surgery, standard cardiorespiratory …

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