|Burrow in Lab|
We often see burrows in grasslands and meadows but Sulaiman Mohd Dom of the Faculty of Health Sciences, UiTM Puncak Alam created a burrow for his rabbits in labs.
Scientists often suffer from scratches and bites by rabbits when conducting experiments having them as samples. Rabbit lovers are less scratched as they always caress their pets but scientists are too busy to do so. Thus to ease rabbits for experiments, chemicals are often used. But Sulaiman created a burrow-like device, to relax and ready them for research.
Having a burrow in mind, Sulaiman uses Perspex, rolled into a cylinder like a burrow. The cylinder fits the size of adult rabbits where they can settle themselves to a taste of a home in a burrow. To prevent the cylinder from rolling over, it is fixed with base stabilisers. A door is fixed to the head end of the cylinder and another at the tail. Meanwhile a square opening, or a window, is cut out of the cylinder matching the stomach region of the rabbit.
The burrow minimises risk of injury to the animal as well as the handler. While transferring rabbits for procedures, although handling techniques are applied, calming them is not easy - researchers still suffer scratches by the struggling rabbits. Likewise, some procedures require animal specimen to sit still up to one and a half hours. Physical restraints in the market do not have a ‘window’ for abdominal procedures. Instead, chemical is used. The side effects of chloroform or ether may cause abortion on pregnant sample animals, which will disrupt the experiment. So MyRabbitBurrow reduces the use of chemical to handle them.
In MyRabbitBurrow, scientists can lay a pregnant rabbit in a pleasant place, the burrow-like bed for an ultrasound treatment. It was found that a rabbit can stay voluntarily in the cylinder for an ultrasound or shaving (of fur) up to 1½ hours. Rabbits also find MyRabbitBurrow a pleasant spot to rest that Sulaiman said he often observed his specimens fall asleep in it.
Other than practical in experimental research involving abdominal intervention, it can also be used by researchers using rabbits for other experimental research in other fields such as clinical chemistry, endocrinology, veterinary, and rabbit husbandry investigations.
Pulling a rabbit out of a hat?
Sulaiman Mohd Dom
Faculty of Health Sciences
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 11:36|