Blood biochemistry: copper in Rabbits (Lapis) | Vetlexicon
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Blood biochemistry: copper


Synonym(s): Cu

Overview

  • Important trace mineral.
  • Serves as a cofactor for enzymes involved in many biologic processes.
  • In plasma, 95% bound to cerulplasmin (α2 globulin).
  • Excess copper accumulates in hepatocytes.
  • Hepatocellular damage, generally secondary to stress, releases hepatocellular copper stores into the bloodstream, leading to acute hemolysis.
  • Death results from acute hemolytic crisis.
  • Copper deficiency may occur with diets high in molybdenum. Clinical signs include decreased growth, poor coat, bone abnormalities and anemia.
  • Copper deficiency and copper toxicosis are rare in clinical practice.

Uses

In combination

  • Liver disease associated with excessive copper in diet leading to excessive liver stores.
  • Liver biopsy is preferred diagnostic procedure with histologic evaluation and quantitative copper analysis.
  • Liver tissue analysis for copper levels in combination with hematological tests indicating intravascular hemolysis with chronic copper toxicosis.

Other points

  • Abnormalities of cardiac and vessel wall elastin may be associated with copper deficiency.
  • Experimental copper deficiency led to alopecia, scaling and a depigmented hair coat in rabbits.

Sampling

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Tests

Availability

  • Contact commercial laboratory to confirm availability.
  • Liver tissue sample generally preferred for copper analysis.

Technique intrinsic limitations

  • Test results only significant in conjunction with other laboratory results and clinical findings.

Result Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Ramirez C J, Kim D Y, Hanks B C & Evans T J (2013) Copper toxicosis in New Zealand White Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Vet Pathol 50 (6), 1135-1138 PubMed.
  • Cooper G L et al (1996) Copper poisoning in rabbits associated with acute intravascular hemolysis. J Vet Diag Invest 8 (3), 394-396 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Meredith A (2014) Dermatoses. In: Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA. pp 255-263.
  • Prebble J (2014) Nutrition and Feeding. In: Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Eds: Meredith A & Lord B. BSAVA. pp 27-35.