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THE INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE (IACUC)

ANESTHESIA AND ANALGESIA IN LABORATORY ANIMALS AT UCSF

I. Overview
II. Species-specific considerations
III. Commonly used anesthetics and analgesics
IV. Species-specific anesthesia-analgesia formularies:

Cat
Dog
• Frog
• Fish

• Guinea Pig
• Hamster
Mouse
Nonhuman primates

Rabbit
Rat
Swine

RAT FORMULARY

Note that all of these doses are approximations and must be titrated to the animal’s strain, age, sex and individual responses. Significant departures from these doses should be discussed with a veterinarian. Doses will also vary depending on what other drugs are being administered concurrently.

All doses are listed as milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) unless otherwise noted. Dilution of injected drugs allows more precise dosing, but may shorten the shelf-life of the compound (UCSF standard: diluted drugs should be labeled, then discarded after 1 month)

DRUG NAME DOSE (mg/kg) & ROUTE FREQUENCY NOTES
Inhalation anesthetics
Recommended:
Isoflurane or Halothane or Sevoflurane
1-3% inhalant to effect (up to 5% for induction). Up to 8% for Sevoflurane Whenever general anesthesia is required Survival surgery requires concurrent preemptive analgesia.
Must use precision vaporizer
Methoxyflurane To effect (cannot determine percentage) Whenever general anesthesia is required Survival surgery requires concurrent preemptive analgesia.
Not currently available in USA
Nitrous oxide (N2O) Up to 60% with oxygen Whenever deep sedation or general anesthesia is required Not acceptable for surgery as sole agent – usually used with inhalant anesthetic to potentiate effect and lower required dose
Ether To effect (cannot determine percentage) Whenever general anesthesia is required Strongly discouraged because of flammability and distress to animals.
Survival surgery requires concurrent preemptive analgesia.
Carbon dioxide To effect (cannot determine percentage) Once, at time of euthanasia May be used for fast terminal procedure followed by euthanasia
Ketamine combinations
Recommended:
Ketamine-Xylazine
75-100 Ket + 5-10 IP (in same syringe) As needed May not produce surgical-plane anesthesia for major procedures, though more reliable than in mice. If redosing, use ketamine alone. May be partially reversed with Atipamezole or Yohimbine
Ketamine-Medetomidine 75-100 + ~0.5-1 IP (in same syringe) As needed May not produce surgical-plane anesthesia for major procedures. If redosing, use ketamine alone. May be partially reversed with Atipamezole
Ketamine-Xylazine-Acepromazine 75 - 100 + 2 - 6 + 1 – 2 (in same syringe) As needed May not produce surgical-plane anesthesia for major procedures. If redosing, use ketamine alone. May be partially reversed with Atipamezole or Yohimbine
Ketamine-Midazolam 75-100 + 4-5 IP (in same syringe) As needed May not produce surgical-plane anesthesia for major procedures, but may be useful for restraint.
Ketamine alone 75-100 IP As needed Deep sedation, but not surgical anesthesia. Not often used alone.
Reversal agents
Atipamezole 0.1 - 1.0 subcutaneous or IP Any time medetomidine or xylazine has been used More specific for medetomidine than for xylazine (as a general rule, Atipamezole is dosed at the same volume as Medetomidine, though they are manufactured at different concentrations)
Yohimbine 1.0 – 2.0 SC or IP For reversal of xylazine effects  
Other injectable anesthetics
Sodium pentobarbital (Nembutal) 40 – 50 IP Recommended for terminal/acute procedures only, with booster doses as needed. May occasionally be appropriate for survival procedures Consider supplemental analgesia (opioid or NSAID) for invasive procedures, especially when used on a survival basis.
Tribromoethanol (avertin) Not generally used in rats    
Propofol 12-26 IV As needed Only useful IV, so therefore limited usefulness in mice. Respiratory depression upon induction is possible.
Opioid analgesia
Recommended:
Buprenorphine
0.01 - 0.05 SC or IP

Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 4-12hrs

When used as sole analgesic, typical regimen is: once at time of procedure, second dose will be administered 4-6 hours later.  Additional doses
every 8-12hrs as needed. Consider multi-modal analgesia with NSAID and local analgesic.

 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesia (NSAID) Note that prolonged use my cause renal, gastrointestinal, or other problems
Recommended:
Carprofen
4-5 SC Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 12-24 hour Depending on the procedure, may be used as sole analgesic, or as multi-modal analgesia with buprenorphine.
Recommended:
Meloxicam
~ 2.0 PO, IM or SC Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 12-24 hour Depending on the procedure, may be used as sole analgesic, or as multi-modal analgesia with buprenorphine.
Recommended:
Ketoprofen
2 – 5 SC Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 12-24 hour Depending on the procedure, may be used as sole analgesic, or as multi-modal analgesia with buprenorphine.
Ketorolac 05 – 7.5 oral or SC Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 12-24 hour Depending on the procedure, may be used as sole analgesic, or as multi-modal analgesia with buprenorphine.
Flunixin meglumine ~ 2 SC Used pre-operatively for preemptive analgesia and post-operatively every 12-24 hour Depending on the procedure, may be used as sole analgesic, or as multi-modal analgesia with buprenorphine.
Local anesthetic/analgesics (lidocaine and bupivacaine may be combined in one syringe for rapid onset and long duration analgesia)
Lidocaine hydrochloride Dilute to 0.5%, do not exceed 7 mg/kg total dose, SC or intra-incisional Use locally before making surgical incision, or before final skin closure Faster onset than bupivacaine but short (<1 hour) duration of action
Bupivacaine Dilute to 0.25%, do not exceed 8 mg/kg total dose, SC or intra-incisional Use locally before making surgical incision, or before final skin closure Slower onset than lidocaine but longer (~ 4-8 hour) duration of action