Blood Concentrations of D- and L-Lactate in Healthy Rabbits
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2012
Isabelle Langlois1, DMV, DABVP (Avian); Amandine Planché1, DMV, IPSAV; Soren Boysen1,2, DVM, DACVECC; Saman Abeysekara3,4, BVSc, MSc, PhD; Gordon A. Zello3, BSc, PhD
1Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada; 2Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; 3College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada; 4Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada


Rabbits kept as companion animals are often presented for gastrointestinal stasis. Clinical evolution of these patients is often difficult to predict with some cases progressing to shock (hypovolemic, endotoxemic, septic) and/or not responding to medical management. Blood L-lactate levels have been shown to provide diagnostic and prognostic value when managing shock in various species.1 D-lactate concentration increases significantly secondary to damage from bacterial infections.2 This study determined normal whole blood and serum values of L-lactate and serum values of D-lactate in 25 healthy rabbits and compared three methods of analysis (Point-of-care portable Lactate Pro, Nova Critical Care Blood Gas Analyzer, and High Performance Liquid Chromatography [HPLC]) for L-lactate measurement.3 D-lactate values were 0.17±0.08 mmol/L. Results of L-lactate were 5.1 (±2.1) mmol/L by HPLC, 6.9 (±2.7) mmol/L with the portable analyzer and 7.1 (±1.6) mmol/L with the blood gas analyzer. No significant difference (p>0.05) was found between values obtained with the portable analyzer and the blood gas analyzer. Significant difference was present between the serum L-lactate values obtained by HPLC and the whole blood values obtained with the blood gas analyzer (p<0.01) and portable analyzer (p<0.05). Serum concentrations of D-lactate in healthy rabbits are similar to those of other mammals. L-lactate values in healthy rabbits are higher compared to those of other mammals.


The authors thank the Académie de médecine vétérinaire du Québec for funding this study.

Literature Cited

1.  Lagutchik, M.S., G.K. Ogilvie, W.E. Wingfield, and T.B. Hackett. 1996. Lactate kinetics in veterinary critical care: a review. J. Vet. Emerg. Crit. Care 6:81–95.

2.  Smith, S.M., R.H. Eng, J.M. Campos, and H. Chmel. 1989. D-lactic acid measurements in the diagnosis of bacterial infections. J. Clin. Microbiol. 27:385–388.

3.  Omole, O.O., D.R. Brocks, G. Nappert, J.M. Naylor and G.A. Zello. 1999. High-performance liquid chromatographic assay of (+/-)-lactic acid and its enantiomers in calf serum. J. Chromatogr. B. Biomed. Sci. Appl. 727:23–29.


Speaker Information
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Isabelle Langlois, DMV, DABVP (Avian)
Department of Clinical Sciences
Faculté de médecine vétérinaire
Université de Montréal
Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada

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