Anaesthesia, analgesia and euthanasia. What's new?
Richard T. Fosse & Adrian Smith*
Vivarium, Haukeland Hospital, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway & *Laboratory Animal Unit, Norwegian College of Veterinary Medicine, Oslo, Norway.
Several new agents have been used in anesthesia of common laboratory
animals. These include new inhalant agents and action specific alpha-2
agonists. Balanced anesthesia is often combined with the use of antagonists
resulting in rapid recovery following surgery. Agonist/antagonist protocols
require analgesia supplementation. New generation Non Steroid
Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are used in many such protocols. The advent
of potent NSAIDs has lead to improved analgesia for many laboratory animal
species. These agents are either used alone or in combination with opiates.
New routes of administration - epidural and spinal - are being introduced
and show great promise in the post-operative phase. Euthanasia of
laboratory animals has been the subject of a working party report published
on the request of the EU DGIX directorate. The report focussed on the need
for protocol specific methods. The increasing use of marine species has
uncovered the need for knowledge regarding the use of anaesthetic and
analgesic agents in these animals. Likewise, choice of euthanasia needs
review when planning protocols that involve the use of fish.
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