Objective- The aim of the present survey was to evaluate whether the results of cardiac measurements using the VHS are a useful indicator of the origin of normal rabbits.
Design- Experimental study.
Animals- Forty seven adult healthy New Zealand White rabbits (25 male, 22 female) with age 10-18 months and weight 1.5-2.5 Kg.
Procedures- To assess the influence of breed on the vertebral heart scale of rabbits, the VHS was measured and compared on left to right and right to left lateral views. Lengths of the long and short axis were determined with a ruler in millimeters. The dimensions were scaled against the length of the vertebrae beginning with the fourth thoracic vertebra.
Results- Mean ± SD long axis dimensions were 4.3 ± 0.30 vertebrae and mean ± SD short axis dimensions 3.1 ± 0.32 vertebrae. The VHS was 7.6±0.32 vertebrae (mean ± SD) on right-to-left lateral and 7.3± 0.31 vertebrae on left-to-right lateral radiographs. The obtained VHS on right to left lateral views were larger than left to right lateral radiographs, nevertheless no significant differences were observed in RL-long axis and RL-vertebral heart size (P>0.05).
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance- The vertebral heart scale method is easy to use and objective for clinical practice. The obtained data showed that the long axis and short axis of the heart had not significantly different in male and female rabbits together. Also, no significant changes were observed according to age. These values are useful as new diagnostic indices for cardiac disease in rabbits.