Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




The purpose of the present study was to evaluate changes in real-time ultrasound imaging traits and weight of dissectible fat depots (inguinal, interscapular, and perirenal) in rabbits with different body weights and to monitor the changes in blood glucose and constituents of lipid profiles. In this study, 18 clinically healthy male New Zealand white rabbits were used. The rabbits were fed with standard diet and were divided into 3 groups according to their body weight: group 1 at 1.06 ± 0.03 kg, group 2 at 2.1 ± 0.05 kg, and group 3 at 3.06 ± 0.03 kg. Examined by ultrasonography, the inguinal and interscapular fat depots appeared as bands with weak to moderate echogenicity, whereas perirenal fat was moderate to hyperechoic. The thickness of subcutaneous fat depots measured by ultrasound increased along with body weight and differences between the groups were found to be statistically significant (P < 0.001). The differences in perirenal fat thickness between rabbits from group 1 and group 2 were not found to be statistically significant. Perirenal fat thickness in the rabbits from group 3 was higher (P < 0.001) than that of the other groups. Perirenal fat weight in group 3 correlated positively (r = 0.82; P < 0.05) to body weight. Blood biochemical analysis showed that blood glucose, total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were in the reference range for all groups regardless of the fact that TG and HDL-C in groups 2 and 3 were significantly higher than those in rabbits from group 1. The in vivo ultrasound screening of adipose tissue, together with blood lipid profile, is an indicator of good health and proper energy balance in rabbits bred for meat or as companion animals.

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