Giral, M., Amengol, C., Sanchez-Gomez, S. et al. 2015. Effects of changing to individually ventilated caging on guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). JAALAS 54(3), 267-272.
The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of changing to IVC housing on guinea pigs by recording several physiologic parameters in guinea pigs housed sequentially in open-top cages (OTC) and IVC. To register heart rate and locomotor activity, 10 male Dunkin–Hartley guinea pigs implanted with telemetric transmitters were moved from OTC to new, freshly prepared OTC or IVC and subsequently monitored by telemetry during the 4 d after the first cage change. Body weight and food consumption were measured twice during the study. Comparison of data from OTC- and IVC-housed guinea pigs showed no relevant differences in heart rate (mean ± 1 SD; 213 ± 10 bpm and 207 ± 9 bpm, respectively) at any time point. In contrast, locomotor activity varied: whereas activity during the first 4 h after the change of cage type was greater in IVC-housed animals, that during the following 24 h was greater in OTC but was similar between groups thereafter. Animals housed in OTC consumed more food than did those in IVC and, under both conditions, consumption was statistically related to body weight changes. Together, these results show that a change to IVC housing induced only transient increases in locomotor activity in guinea pigs without a marked increase in heart rate but with a decrease in food consumption. Because decreased food consumption was the only stress-associated sign during the 4-d observation, longer studies are needed to ascertain the importance of this finding.