Basics of pain detection in rodents - a recipe for successful rodent analgesia* - Part 1
Posted by: admin | November 03, 2009 | 0 Comments
Providing analgesia is a fundamental skill that must be practiced with confidence by anyone performing potentially painful procedures on animals in the biomedical field. Reasons for providing analgesia include animal welfare, compliance with regulatory guidelines, and because pain introduces experimental variation that can skew data or require the use of additional animals to validate results. An understanding of pharmacology, physiology, and specific applications is paramount in order to choose an appropriate analgesic. Factors such as the health, age and strain of the rodent, duration, and the amount of pain expected from a procedure are just a few of the considerations when choosing an analgesic protocol. Analgesia limits pain perception from a stimulus that would normally elicit a painful response. Pain causes physiological and psychological changes in rodents that can skew the results of an experiment, and increase morbidity and mortality. In some cases, such as surgical procedures, the potential for pain is obvious. In other cases, that potential is not as apparent. For example, more subtle sources of pain may occur from rodent models of arthritis, cancers (e.g. bone neoplasm) and infectious diseases (e.g. those with ulcerating lesions where pain can be chronic and subtle). Every attempt should be made at treating pain preemptively, rather than waiting until a rodent is exhibiting signs of pain. An optimal protocol of pain relief should include pre-, intra-, and post-procedural analgesia and a decrease in the establishment of hypersensitivity.
* This is an excerpt from the Veterinary Bioscience Institute’ s Laboratory Mouse and Rat Anesthesia, Analgesia and Euthanasia course.