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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The respiratory rate and volume of the guinea pig Nordan, Harold Cecil


The present methods for the measurement of respiratory rate and volume of laboratory animals have been reviewed. The review suggests that these methods leave much to be desired. For this reason an apparatus has been developed in the hope that it may overcome the difficulties associated with those described in the literature. The apparatus consists of a mechanism to interrupt a beam of light in time with the animal's breathing, and the signal so produced is amplified to close a double pole double throw relay. The state of the relay, open or closed, selects an arrester on either the air supply spirometer or the air receiver spirometer. When the animal breathes in the air supply spirometer is free to move and the air receiver is locked allowing air to be taken from the air supply spirometer only. On expiration the reverse situation is in effect. A stylus attached to each spirometer records the downward or upward travel and hence the volume on a kymograph drum. An electro-magnetic stylus records each inspiration on the kymograph and a five second timer writes a time base. A limited amount of data on female and male guinea pigs is presented to indicate the validity of the measurements made with the apparatus. Equations based on these data relating respiratory rate and volume of the guinea pigs to body weight have been derived. These equations are compared with those of other workers and suggest that the apparatus devised may be superior to those described in the literature.

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