Technical Note: Effect of handling on stress-induced hyperthermia in adult rabbits


  • Irene Olivas
  • Arantxa Villagrá



rabbit, stress-induced hyperthermia, benzodiazepine, handling, behaviour


Animals perceive humans as a threat, therefore handling could cause stress reactions and fear in rabbits. Stress induced hyperthermia (SIH) is a physiological response produced when a stressful situation takes place and is supposed to occur in rabbits. In this work, the SIH response is assessed when different groups of rabbits (young males, nulliparous does and multiparous does) are handled. A benzodiazepine (Midazolam®) was administered to half of the animals to assess handling response also under drug effects. Rectal temperature was not increased by handling in male rabbits and multiparous does, whereas nulliparous females showed presented SIH after 30 min of handling. In addition, Midazolam® has been revealed as useful for pharmacological validation of SIH after 25 min from injection.


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