Anesthesia

John Donovan1, Patricia Brown2

1 Rhone‐Poulenc Rorer, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, 2 National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Immunology
Unit Number:  Unit 1.4
DOI:  10.1002/0471142735.im0104s27
Online Posting Date:  May, 2001
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Abstract

Anesthetic agents are used in laboratory animals to prevent pain or distress due to an experimental procedure or for restraint to facilitate a technically difficult procedure. This unit provides three basic protocols: injectable anesthesia for mouse, rat, and hamster; inhalant anesthesia using methoxyflurane for mouse, rat, and hamster; and injectable anesthesia using ketamine/xylazine for rabbit. An describes sedation using butorphanol/acetylpromazine in the rabbit. The further describes and compares these methods of anesthesia for various applications.

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Basic Protocol 1: Injectable Anesthesia for Mouse, Rat, and Hamster
  • Basic Protocol 2: Inhalant Anesthesia Using Methoxyflurane for Mouse, Rat, and Hamster
  • Basic Protocol 3: Injectable Anesthesia Using Ketamine/Xylazine for the Rabbit
  • Alternate Protocol 1: Injectable Sedation Using Butorphanol/Acetylpromazine for the Rabbit
  • Commentary
  • Key References
  • Figures
  • Tables
     
 
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Materials

Basic Protocol 1: Injectable Anesthesia for Mouse, Rat, and Hamster

  Materials
  • Anesthetic of choice (Table 1.4.1)
  • Laboratory balance for weighing the animal
  • 1‐ or 3‐ml syringe with 22‐G needle
  • Additional reagents and equipment for handling and restraint (unit 1.3) and intraperitoneal injection (unit 1.6)

Basic Protocol 2: Inhalant Anesthesia Using Methoxyflurane for Mouse, Rat, and Hamster

  Materials
  • Methoxyflurane
  • Gauze or cotton sponges
  • Closed glass container with raised floor
  • Empty syringe case or 50‐ml centrifuge tube (optional)
CAUTION: All procedures with methoxyflurane should be conducted in a fume hood or safety cabinet that continuously exhausts anesthetic gases away from personnel.

Basic Protocol 3: Injectable Anesthesia Using Ketamine/Xylazine for the Rabbit

  Materials
  • 20 mg/ml xylazine (see Table 1.4.2 for sources)
  • 100 mg/ml ketamine⋅HCl (see Table 1.4.2 for sources)
  • Sterile saline or phosphate‐buffered saline (PBS; appendix 2A)
  • 5‐ml syringe with 22‐ to 25‐G needle
  • Warm water recirculating blanket (optional)

Alternate Protocol 1: Injectable Sedation Using Butorphanol/Acetylpromazine for the Rabbit

  Materials
  • 10 mg/ml butorphanol
  • 10 mg/ml acetylpromazine
  • 1‐ or 3‐ml syringe with 22‐ to 25‐G needle
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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

Key References
   Green, C.J. 1987. Anesthesia and analgesia. In Laboratory Animals: An Introduction for New Experimenters (A.A. Tuffery, ed.) pp. 261‐301. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England.
  Manning, P.J., Ringler, D.H., and Newcomer, C.E. (eds.) 1994. The Biology of the Laboratory Rabbit, 2nd ed., ACLAM Series, pp. 104‐105. Academic Press, San Diego.
   White, W.J. and Field, K.J. 1987. Anesthesia and surgery of laboratory animals. In The Veterinary Clinics of North America, Small Animal Practice, Exotic Pet Medicine,17:5 (J.E. Harkness, ed.) pp. 989‐1017. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia.
   Wixson, S.K. and Smiler, K.L. 1997. Anesthesia and analgesia in rodents. In Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals (D.F. Kohn, S.K. Wixson, W.J. White, and G.J. Benson eds.) pp. 165‐200. Academic Press, San Diego.
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