Original Research

Evaluation of perlite, wood shavings and corncobs for bedding material in rats

Fatih Yildirim, Betül A. Yildirim, Ahmet Yildiz, Kübra A. Kapakin Terim, Seyda Cengiz, Selçuk Özdemir
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 88 | a1492 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v88i0.1492 | © 2017 Fatih Yildirim, Betül A. Yildirim, Ahmet Yildiz, Kübra A. Kapakin Terim, Seyda Cengiz, Selçuk Özdemir | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 December 2016 | Published: 30 March 2017

About the author(s)

Fatih Yildirim, Department of Animal Science, Atatürk University, Turkey
Betül A. Yildirim, Department of Biochemistry, Atatürk University, Turkey
Ahmet Yildiz, Department of Animal Science, Atatürk University, Turkey
Kübra A. Kapakin Terim, Department of Pathology, Atatürk University, Turkey
Seyda Cengiz, Department of Microbiology, Atatürk University, Turkey
Selçuk Özdemir, Department of Animal Science, Atatürk University, Turkey


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Abstract

Bedding material, which is a significant part of rodent housing, affects the health and well-being of laboratory animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate perlite as a bedding material for rodents and to compare it with wood shavings, expanded perlite and corncobs. The animals used in this experiment were 48 male and 48 female Sprague-Dawley rats. The bedding materials collected from experimental groups were analysed microbiologically. Blood samples from rats were subjected to biochemical analysis for catalase, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, malondialdehyde, superoxide and dismutase, and foot pad skins of rats were subjected to histopathological examination. Body weight was determined at the end of the 30-day period. Perlite as the only bedding material had no effect on body weight, and it resulted in less microbial activity compared with the wood shavings, expanded perlite and corncobs. However, using perlite alone had negative effects on the skin, the moisture percentage of bedding and stress parameters. A wood shavingsperlite combination gave better results than perlite alone and appropriate perlite and other bedding material mixtures may result in bedding materials conducive to animal health and welfare. The frequency of changing the bedding material should be limited to once weekly.

Keywords

bacteria; cage-changing; foot pad pathology; moisture; rodent; stress; well-being

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