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Drinking preferences in chinchillas (Chinchilla laniger), degus (Octodon degu) and guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus)


Hagen, Katharina; Clauss, Marcus; Hatt, Jean-Michel (2014). Drinking preferences in chinchillas (Chinchilla laniger), degus (Octodon degu) and guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 98(5):942-947.

Abstract

Chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger), degus (Octodon degus) and guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) are South American rodents living in a semi-arid habitat with varying, species-specific adaptations to water deprivation. Nonetheless, several diseases have been linked to insufficient water intake when these species are kept as pets, such as urolithiasis or obstipation. This study evaluated preferences for drinking systems. Six animals of each species were given a choice between an open dish and a nipple drinker. Food intake and water intake were measured daily for 13 days. Chinchillas in this study had significantly lower water intakes than the other two species, indicating particular species-specific adaptations to aridity. All chinchillas favoured open dishes, whereas the degus and guinea pigs had variable individual preferences. Water intake of chinchillas was similar or higher in this study than in previous studies where nipple drinkers were used. The results indicate that degus and guinea pigs can meet their drinking water needs with nipple drinkers; for chinchillas, other drinking systems may be more adequate.

Abstract

Chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger), degus (Octodon degus) and guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) are South American rodents living in a semi-arid habitat with varying, species-specific adaptations to water deprivation. Nonetheless, several diseases have been linked to insufficient water intake when these species are kept as pets, such as urolithiasis or obstipation. This study evaluated preferences for drinking systems. Six animals of each species were given a choice between an open dish and a nipple drinker. Food intake and water intake were measured daily for 13 days. Chinchillas in this study had significantly lower water intakes than the other two species, indicating particular species-specific adaptations to aridity. All chinchillas favoured open dishes, whereas the degus and guinea pigs had variable individual preferences. Water intake of chinchillas was similar or higher in this study than in previous studies where nipple drinkers were used. The results indicate that degus and guinea pigs can meet their drinking water needs with nipple drinkers; for chinchillas, other drinking systems may be more adequate.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Uncontrolled Keywords:drinking; hydration; nipple drinker; open dish; rodent; water intake
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:23 Sep 2014 16:04
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 07:11
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0931-2439
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jpn.12164
PubMed ID:24405017

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