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Anxiolytic Drugs Inhibit Hyperthermia Induced by Handling in Farmed Silver Foxes (Vulpes Vulpes)

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As a contribution to the ongoing work aiming to improve welfare in farmed silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes), the present study attempted to investigate stress-induced hyperthermia (SIH) as a physiological indicator of fear or anxiety in this species. Measuring rectal temperature (Trec) served as a stressor and immediately elicited SIH. Then, the foxes received either the anxiolytic drugs, diazepam or buspirone, or sterile saline. Trec in the foxes treated with diazepam and buspirone was significantly lower 90min after treatment. The results indicate that SIH induced by handling was attenuated by anxiolytic drugs, which supports the hypothesis that anxiety contributes to the development of SIH.
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Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; FEAR; SILVER FOX; STRESS-INDUCED HYPERTHERMIA

Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: 1998-02-01

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