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Title:Is rectal always right? Comparing axillary and inguinal temperature to rectal temperature in healthy domestic rats (rattus norvegicus domestica)
Author(s):Levy, Ivana
Contributor(s):Keller, Krista
Subject(s):Veterinary Medicine
Abstract:This past summer I performed hands-on research with pet rats which included physical exams (seen in the photo) and body temperature recordings. Rats are a common companion species who become easily stressed in normal situations. A normal stressful situation can occur at the doctor’s office when rats have their body temperature, a key indicator of health, recorded. The stress can lead to increased body temperature and therefore an inaccurate temperature recording. The goal of our study was to see if there was a less invasive but still accurate way to measure body temperature by comparing axillary (armpit) and inguinal (groin) temperature to rectal temperature. After a summer of data collection, we found that neither axillary nor inguinal temperature can replace rectal temperature. Therefore, veterinarians should continue to take rectal temperatures in rats to provide the highest standard of care for their patients. This finding was so exciting because it opens the doorway to further research. For example, this upcoming year I will be investigating whether or not rectal temperature (which we determined to be the most accurate method to record a rat’s body temperature from this study) is a prognostic indicator for survival in this species.
Issue Date:2020
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Ivana Levy
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-04-14

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