Abstract

    Open Access Research Article Article ID: OJEB-7-132

    The effect of olfactory exposure on the heart rate of rabbits during transport

    Anouck Haverbeke*, Stefania Uccheddu, Dieter Everaert, Maya Lagae, Marie Lacoste, Heidi Arnouts and Adinda Sannen

    Summary

    Rabbits can experience stress during transport. This study explores the effects of Essential Oils (EOs) on the heart rate of rabbits during transport. Rabbits were submitted to 3 different treatments: no olfactory exposure to EOs (treatment 1, control); olfactory exposure to 30 drops of Lavandula angustifolia EO (treatment 2); and olfactory exposure to 30 drops of a blend of 5 EOs (treatment 3, Cananga odorata, Citrus aurantium, Cupressus sempervirens, Lavandula angustifolia, Litsea citrata EOs) in a randomized controlled crossover study design. Treatment 1 and Treatment 2 did not induce a significant change in rabbits’ heart rates, however, treatment 3 did induce a significant decrease in rabbits’ heart rates after transport. These results suggest that olfactory exposure to this blend of 5 EOs decreased the rabbit’s heart rate after transport. More research is needed to further evaluate the effects of olfactory enrichment with EOs in rabbits during transport.

    Abstract

    The study explores the effects of Essential Oils (EOs) on the heart rate of rabbits during transport. Rabbits (n = 35) were individually transported three times by car in a transport box for 5 minutes. Each rabbit was subjected to three treatments: no olfactory exposure to EOs (treatment 1, control); olfactory exposure to 30 drops of Lavandula angustifolia EO (treatment 2); and olfactory exposure to 30 drops of a blend of 5 EOs (treatment 3, Cananga odorata, Citrus aurantium, Cupressus sempervirens, Lavandula angustifolia, Litsea citrata EOs) in a randomized controlled crossover study design. Heart rate was measured before and after transport. Compared to the control, treatment 3 showed a significant decrease in HR after transport (mean = -24.33, SD = 41.77; post hoc Tukey test p = 0.007). Results suggest that the blend of EOs might help rabbits to recover homeostasis quicker after a stressful event. This suggests interesting potential field applications not only for rabbit owners but also for veterinarians. There is more research needed regarding the specific effects of EOs on rabbits.

    Keywords:

    Published on: Dec 13, 2022 Pages: 33-39

    Full Text PDF Full Text HTML DOI: 10.17352/ojeb.000032
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