EVALUATING THE CLINICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM ULTRAVIOLET B RADIATION ON RABBITS (ORYCTOLAGUS CUNICULUS)

Megan K. Watson, Mark A. Mitchell, Adam W. Stern, Amber L. Labelle, Stephen Joslyn, Timothy M. Fan, Melissa Cavaretta, Micah Kohles, Kemba Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Vitamin D is an essential hormone in vertebrates. Most animals acquire this hormone through their diet and/or exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. The objectives for this research were to evaluate the clinical and physiologic effects of artificial UVB light supplementation on rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and to evaluate the long-term safety of artificial UVB light supplementation over a 6-month period. Twelve New Zealand white rabbits were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: Group A was exposed to 12 hours of artificial UVB radiation daily and Group B received ambient fluorescent light with no UVB supplementation for 12 hours daily. All animals were offered the same diet and housed under the same conditions. Blood samples were collected every 3 weeks over 6 months to measure blood chemistry values, parathyroid hormone, ionized calcium, and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25-OHD3) levels. Serial ophthalmologic examinations were performed at the beginning of the study and every 2 months thereafter. At the end of the study the animals were euthanized and necropsied. Mean ± SD serum 25-OHD3 concentrations differed significantly (P = 0.003) between animals provided supplemental UVB radiation (83.12 ± 22.44 nmol/L) and those not provided UVB radiation (39.33 ± 26.07 nmol/L). There were no apparent negative clinical or pathologic side effects noted between the groups. This study found that exposing rabbits to UVB radiation long term significantly increased their circulating serum 25-OHD3 levels, which was sustainable over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Exotic Pet Medicine
Volume28
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

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Keywords

  • Oryctolagus cuniculus
  • rabbit
  • ultraviolet B radiation
  • vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Watson, M. K., Mitchell, M. A., Stern, A. W., Labelle, A. L., Joslyn, S., Fan, T. M., Cavaretta, M., Kohles, M., & Marshall, K. (2019). EVALUATING THE CLINICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM ULTRAVIOLET B RADIATION ON RABBITS (ORYCTOLAGUS CUNICULUS). Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, 28, 43-55. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.jepm.2018.04.016