The use of rabbit drinking and drinking water has been widely considered one of the most important measures to prevent rabbit poisoning.
However, recent research suggests that the process is more complicated than that.
In the latest issue of the International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology (IJETS), scientists have investigated whether rabbits can safely be exposed to drinking water with a chemical found in some rabbit drinking fluids.
The research involved using a laboratory rabbit as an experiment, and found that the rabbit had a natural reaction to the chemical and that its reaction was a more powerful and lasting one than that of humans.
“Rabbits, like most animals, are very sensitive to changes in their environment, and we have found that they are able to detect and react to these changes in a very specific way, in a way that they cannot normally do in a natural environment,” lead researcher and senior author of the study Dr Stefano Mazzola told BBC News.
Dr Mazzello and his colleagues analysed a sample of rabbit pee from a laboratory set up to test the effectiveness of rabbit water for treating rabbit sickness. “
But we also found that these reactions are much stronger than those that humans can experience.”
Dr Mazzello and his colleagues analysed a sample of rabbit pee from a laboratory set up to test the effectiveness of rabbit water for treating rabbit sickness.
“We took a sample from the rabbit, put it in a cup and filled it with water.
Then we placed the rabbit in the cup with a sample with a high concentration of a substance called ethylene glycol,” he said.
“The rabbit reacted very strongly to the water, so we used an ionisation detector to find out how strongly the water reacted to the rabbit’s urine.”
After a short time, the rabbit was unable to drink any water.
The team then tested it for the presence or absence of the chemical.
They found that, although the urine reacted to water, it did not react to other chemicals.
“It was a completely different reaction to how humans react to water,” Dr Mizzola said.
“[It was] more complex, more permanent and more powerful.”
A quick test with urine, urine and urine alone, and with the rabbit urine alone showed that the concentration of ethylene was the same in the urine and the rabbit.
The rabbit also reacted to a small amount of water that contained a small number of the chemicals.
The scientists said that this “unique behaviour” of the rabbit may indicate that it was a natural barrier against rabbit drinking fluid being contaminated with the chemicals found in urine.
However this was not the only reaction the researchers detected.
They also detected the presence and concentration of the polyphenols and flavonoids in the rabbit drinking urine.
These compounds have been known to increase rabbit appetite, but were not identified as a possible cause of rabbit poisoning because there is no evidence that these substances can kill rabbits.
However the research suggests these compounds may also have a direct impact on the rabbit kidneys.
“If you think about how much we drink from the bottle, and how much is produced by the rabbit every day, we consume a lot of rabbit,” Dr Schiavone told BBCNews.
“I think it’s very easy to see how the urine of a rabbit may become contaminated by a high level of these polyphenolic compounds.”
Dr Schiumvone is not the first to suggest that the use of drinking water in rabbits may have negative effects on the animals.
A similar study published in the same journal in 2013 found that urine and faeces were more likely to contain lead than the urine or faecal matter of a laboratory animal.
Dr Schismone is optimistic that the research can be used to improve rabbit drinking methods and prevent rabbit sickness from occurring.
“For a rabbit, it’s a very important part of its diet, so it needs to be treated carefully,” he explained.
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As a result, we could have a water quality standard that is much better than that currently in use in other parts of the world, so that we can reduce the number of rabbit deaths.”
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