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Research Note: Body Temperature Measurement in Guinea Pigs

Small Mammals

|June 2021

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Body temperature is an important clinical indicator. In guinea pigs, the physical restraint required for taking a rectal temperature can cause stress and may induce hyperthermia. Less invasive methods for obtaining a temperature in this species have been examined; the present study assessed whether body temperatures taken in the axillary (AT) or inguinal (IT) areas were as accurate as rectal temperature (RT). Temperatures were measured in duplicate using a commercially available digital thermometer according to a standardized method over a short (<3 minute) period. AT and IT were consistently significantly lower than RT by 0.58ºF (0.32ºC) and 1.31ºF (0.73ºC), respectively. RT was not unduly stressful, and no patients were injured. Given these findings, the authors concluded that rectal temperature should remain the gold standard for temperature measurement in guinea pigs.

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For global readers, a calculator to convert laboratory values, dosages, and other measurements to SI units can be found here.

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