Assessing stability in body weight of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)
Cameron, Kristie; Bizo, Lewis A.; Starkey, Nicola J.
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Citation:Cameron, K.E., Bizo, L.A., & Starkey, N.J. (2015). Assessing stability in body weight of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Laboratory Animals, 49(1), pp.80-84. doi:10.1177/0023677214541257
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/3451
When conducting controlled laboratory studies with non-traditional laboratory animals it is important that methods for determining body weight stability are reliable. This helps ensure the health and welfare of animals when they are maintained during periods of free feeding or food restriction. This study compared different methods for determining body weight stability in six common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) maintained on a free-feeding diet under laboratory conditions. A criterion of five consecutive weighings with less than 2.5% change across days and no more than two consecutive days of weight loss or weight gain was judged to be the most suitable criteria for determining stability. It is important to study nontraditional animals, especially endangered or pest species, under controlled laboratory conditions and to have robust methods for establishing body weight stability.