CRITERIA FOR EUTHANASIA
1. Weight loss: loss of 20-25% (depending on attitude, weight recorded at time of arrival, and age: growing animals may not lose weight, but may not gain normally) or if not measured, characterized by cachexia and muscle wasting.
2. Inappetance: complete anorexia for 24 hours in small rodents, up to 5 days in large animals; partial anorexia (less than 50% of caloric requirement) for 3 days in small rodents, 7 days in large animals.
3. Weakness/inability to obtain feed or water: Inability or extremereluctance to stand which persists for 24 hours, assuming that the animal has recovered from anaesthesia.
4. Moribund state: depression coupled with body temperature below 99 F, or non-responsive to stimulation, assuming that the animal has recovered from anaesthesia.
5. Infection: infection involving any organ system that fails to respond to antibiotic therapy within an appropriate time and is accompanied by systemic signs of illness.
6. Signs of severe organ system dysfunction non-responsive to
treatment, or with a poor prognosis as determined by a veterinarian:
Chloroform is not acceptable for either anaesthesia or euthanasia as it is very toxic to many species of mice. Additionally, this compound has been shown to be carcinogenic.
Ether is irritating, flammable and explosive, and should not be used in animal rooms.
Chloral hydrate and alpha chloralose used as sole agents are not adequate to reliably achieve euthanasia
Always UNACCEPTABLE in awake animals: KCl, MgSO4, strychnine, neuromuscular blocking agents, exsanguination, air embolism, freezing and chloroform (due to its hazards to personnel).
USE OF THE CO2 CHAMBER FOR EUTHANASIA OF RODENTS
I would remind you that the directions below are for use in a laboratory by trained staff only.
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