General Guidelines

It is important that all scientists using animals in research meet their ethical and legal responsibilities to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering.

The following pages contain recommendations and should only be used as a guide. There are many other anesthetic and analgesic drugs that may be used under the guidance of a veterinarian. If the regimens listed do not meet your needs, please contact the CMF clinical veterinarian at ext. 65162 to discuss your options.

Abbreviations used:
SC – subcutaneous IM – intramuscular
IP – intraperitoneal PO – per os (orally)
IV – intravenous


Anesthetic agents used in animals MUST be non-expired, pharmaceutical grade compounds.

Multi-modal anesthesia is considered by veterinary anesthesiologists to be the most appropriate method to provide pain control to animals.

Multi-modal refers to using more than one class of anesthetic or analgesic to block the pain response at various levels, for example the use of a narcotic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and a local anesthetic.

For surgical procedures, infusing the incision site with a local anesthetic before an incision is made will improve the reliability and consistency of anesthetic depth and provide pre-emptive pain treatment, which substantially decreases the amount of a pain that develops post-operatively. This technique may be used with any species; however, dilution of the local anesthetic agent may be required in smaller animals. Lidocaine, bupivicaine, and a 50:50 combination of the two are the most common choices for local anesthesia. Lidocaine has almost immediate action, but only lasts 1-2 hours; bupivicaine takes 15 minutes for effect, but lasts 4-8 hours. The combination takes advantage of the rapid effect of lidocaine with the extended duration of bupivicaine. Lidocaine or Bupivicaine - do not exceed 1 mg/kg for any species.