Refining Pain Management for Laboratory Mice



Pain management includes the choice of analgesia agents, their dose, administration method, duration and frequency of treatment, and a pain-monitoring scheme for each individual animal. Insufficiently treated pain or inadequately chosen or insufficient reported anesthesia or analgesia protocols may carry the potential to hamper animal welfare and the reproducibility of animal experiments substantially. Respective protocols are therefore an important part of experimental design, and determining an optimal protocol is mandatory when planning animal experiments. Unfortunately, there is evidence that especially the most widely used laboratory species, the mouse, is often treated insufficiently or that protocols are applied that may not reflect the recent state of the art of veterinary analgesia/anesthesia. In this talk requirements for a good analgesia protocol in general, but also the challenges that we face when applying analgesia to small patients like laboratory mice are discussed. Important concepts of (mouse) analgesia including preventive and multimodal approaches and strategies to overcome specific challenges will be discussed. The focus of this talk will lie on stress-free or stress reducing, sustained release or voluntary oral administration protocols for analgesic substances that have a great potential to improve animal welfare in animal research.

Learning Objectives:

1. Define the requirements of a good analgesia protocol

2. Identify various challenges in designing an appropriate analgesia protocol

3. Identify and choose potential refinement opportunities for analgesia protocols

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