Anaesthesia and analgesia in laboratory animals can be a challenge: requirements of the experiment may collide with welfare and ideal management of the individual animal. Therefore, a balance between the interaction of anaesthetics with the data and an adequate level of anaesthesia with stable vital parameters needs to be established. This is usually achieved by using balanced injectable protocols in shorter procedures and the addition of inhalational anaesthetics in longer procedures.
Furthermore, though we consider analgesia to be a mandatory component of general anaesthesia which should be provided preemptively, it is important to continuously monitor for signs of pain to be able to treat adequately during and after the experiment.
In this lecture, we will discuss anaesthesia and perioperative management techniques, equipment and monitoring devices in laboratory animals, as well as the challenges we face with adequate pain management.
Dipl.ACVAA Dr.med.vet. Priv.-Doz.
University Clinic for Small Animals
Clinical Unit of Anaesthesiology and Perioperative Intensive-Care Medicine
University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna