Comparative Medicine


Comparative Medicine provides IACUC Certified personnel with the following information regarding Anesthesia, Analgesia and Therapeutics.

Animal discomfort can produce a range of undesirable physiological changes, which may radically alter measured responses to experimental stimuli, as well as the rate of recovery from surgical procedures; hence, its avoidance and alleviation are in the best interest of both the animal and researcher.

Reducing post-procedural/post-operative pain and discomfort is accomplished by good nursing care, (e.g., keeping the animal warm, clean, dry and well padded), and by the administration of analgesic drugs.

Preemptive and/or post-operative/post-procedural analgesia must be administered whenever procedures are identified that are assumed to produce more than momentary or slight pain and/or discomfort for an appropriate interval, unless the protocol precludes such practice, the investigator has justified such in writing, and the IACUC has approved such practices.

The selection of an appropriate analgesic involves consideration of the level of animal pain anticipated or presumed, the species involved, and the experimental protocol. Severe pain, such as may occur during the post-operative period, can be alleviated by the administration of narcotic analgesics, (e.g., buprenorphine, and opioid partial agonist). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with or without the infusion of local anesthetics, can control mild to moderate pain, in some species, though is contra-indicated in others. Selection of an appropriate route of administration also involves consideration of the recipient species. For example, oral analgesic drug delivery to rodents (e.g., acetaminophen elixir added to the drinking water of rats) may not afford detectable analgesia.

In addition to the avoidance and alleviation discomfort, adequate post-procedural and post-operative animal care includes efforts to prevent and/or treat post-anesthetic complications, (e.g., aspiration, hypostatic pneumonia, cardiovascular and respiratory depression, dehydration, and infection).

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