IACUC Guidelines: Analgesia

Guidelines: The IACUC has provided a set of guidance documents (Policies, Guidelines, and Informational Sheets) for use when planning animal procedures at the University of Iowa. An exception to a Guideline must be described and justified in the Animal Protocol and approved during the normal review process.

Purpose

The purpose of these guidelines is to describe appropriate analgesia regimens for the management of pain in animals used in teaching, research and testing at the University of Iowa.  These guidelines include minimum analgesia recommendations.  Animals should be monitored for an appropriate time period to determine if analgesia provisions are adequate.  Any animal showing evidence of pain should be provided analgesia.  If analgesia cannot be provided due to scientific reasons, the rationale should be given and approved in the Animal Protocol.

Pre-Emptive Use of Analgesic Agents

Pre-emptive analgesia should be provided whenever possible.  Analgesia provisions are most effective at reducing the intensity of painful stimulation when given prior to the painful event.

  • Advantages of pre-emptive use of analgesics:
    • Reduces the intensity of painful stimulation
    • Improves the animal's comfort level after surgery
    • Decreases the amount of anesthesia required to maintain a surgical plane
    • Results in a smoother recovery

Multi-Modal Use of Analgesic Agents

  • Multi-modal analgesia (giving multiple drugs with different mechanisms of action) provides the best analgesia possible
    • e.g., local analgesia+ opioid + NSAID (when appropriate)
    • Classes, dosages, routes and frequency of administration are listed in the “Common Analgesic Agents” section of these guidelines

Minimum Analgesia Requirements

  • Subcutaneous wounding, implantations or procedures without incising through muscle wall:
    • NSAIDS
    • Analgesia should be provided for a minimum of 24 hours post-op
  • Incisions into retro-peritoneal or abdominal cavity or the muscle wall:
    • NSAIDS and/or Opioids
    • Analgesia should be provided for a minimum of 48 hours post-op
  • Incisions into thoracic cavity through the muscle wall:
    • Opioids
    • Analgesia should be provided for a minimum of 48 hours post-op
  • Craniotomy 
    • NSAIDS and/or Opioids
      • Analgesia should be provided for a minimum of 48 hours post-op

Common Analgesic Agents

The following is a list of commonly used analgesic agents by species.  This list is not inclusive; other analgesic agents may be listed and used in an Animal Protocol.

Other accepted resources for appropriate analgesics include the following formularies:

  • Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook (Plumb)
  • Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals (ACLAM)
  • Formulary for Laboratory Animals (Hawk)
  • Exotic Animal Formulary (Carpenter & Marion)
  • Swine in the Laboratory (Swindle)

Appropriate analgesic drugs and dosage(s) should be determined in consultation with an OAR or IACUC veterinarian.



Mouse:

Class Agent Dose/Route/Frequency
Local Bupivacaine 0.5% solution   Local Analgesia/Anesthesia for Rodents
NSAID Flunixin meglumine 2.5 mg/kg SC every 12-24 hours
NSAID  Meloxicam   1-2 mg/kg SC every 24 hours
Opioid  Buprenorphine 0.05-2.5 mg/kg SC or IP every 6-12 hours
Opioid   Butorphanol 0.2-2 mg/kg SC or IP every 2-4 hours
Opioid Oxymorphone   0.2-0.5 mg/kg SC every 6-12 hours

Rat:        

Class Agent   Dose/Route/Frequency
Local Bupivacaine 0.5% solution Local Analgesia/Anesthesia for Rodents
NSAID    Ketoprofen 5 mg/kg SC or PO every 24 hours
NSAID  Meloxicam  1-2 mg/kg SC or PO every 24 hours
Opioid Buprenorphine 0.02-0.5 mg/kg SC, IV or IP every 6-12 hours
Opioid  Butorphanol 0.2-2 mg/kg SC or IP every 2-4 hours
Opioid Oxymorphone 0.2-0.5 mg/kg SC every 6-12 hours

 Rabbit: 

Class    Agent   Dose/Route/Frequency
Local  Bupivacaine 0.5% solution   Line block, consult with vet staff
NSAID  Carprofen 1-2.2 mg/kg PO every 12 hours
NSAID    Flunixin meglumine 1-2 mg/kg SC or IM every 12-24 hours
NSAID Ketoprofen 3 mg/kg SC every 24 hours
NSAID Meloxicam 0.2-0.6 mg/kg SC or PO every 24 hours
Opioid Buprenorphine 0.01-0.05 mg/kg SC, IM or IV every 6-12 hours
Opioid Butorphanol 0.1-1 mg/kg SC, IM or IV every 4-6 hours
Opioid Oxymorphone 0.05-0.2 mg/kg SC or IM every 8-12hours

Pig:        

Class Agent Dose/Route/Frequency
Local Bupivacaine 0.5% solution Line block, consult with vet staff
NSAID Carprofen 2-3 mg/kg IM, SC or PO every 24 hours
NSAID  Flunixin meglumine 1-4 mg/kg IM or SC every 12-24 hours
NSAID Ketoprofen 1-3 mg/kg IM, SC or PO every 24 hours
NSAID  Meloxicam 0.4 mg/kg SC every 24 hours
NSAID Phenylbutazone 4-8 mg/kg PO every 12 hours
Opioid  Buprenorphine 0.05-0.1 mg/kg IM, SC or IV every 8-12 hours
Opioid Butorphanol 0.1-0.3 mg/kg IM, SC or IV every 8-12 hours
Opioid Oxymorphone 0.15 mg/kg IM or SC every 4 hours

Sheep: 

Class  Agent Dose/Route/Frequency
Local Bupivacaine 0.5% solution Line block, consult with vet staff
NSAID Carprofen  4 mg/kg SC every 24 hours
NSAID Flunixin meglumine 1-2 mg/kg IM, IV or PO every 12-24 hours
Opioid Ketoprofen 2-3 mg/kg IM, IV or PO every 24 hours
Opioid Phenylbutazone 2-6 mg/kg IV or PO every 12 hours
Opioid Buprenorphine 0.005-0.01 mg/kg IM every 4-6 hours
Opioid Butorphanol 0.5 mg/kg SC every 2-3 hours

Ferret:        

Class Agent      Dose/Route/Frequency
Local  Bupivacaine 0.5% solution Line block, consult with vet staff
NSAID Carprofen 1 mg/kg PO every 12-24 hours
NSAID Flunixin meglumine 0.3-2 mg/kg SC every 12-24 hours
NSAID Ketoprofen 1 mg/kg PO, SC or IM every 24 hours
Opioid Buprenorphine 0.01-0.03 mg/kg SC, IM or IV every 8-12 hours
Opioid Butorphanol 0.05-0.5 mg/kg SC, IM or IV every 8-12 hours
Opioid Oxymorphone 0.05-0.2 mg/kg SC, IM or IV every 8-12 hours

Non-pharmacologic methods of pain management

When pharmacological intervention (i.e. analgesia agents) is not possible or in addition to pharmacological intervention, these methods can be employed to decrease pain:

  • Skilled surgeon (reduce unintentional surgical trauma)
  • Acclimation of animals prior to surgery
  • Enhance environment to minimize stress (soft bedding, easy food access, soft food, warm temperature, decrease human traffic, decrease noise)
  • Fluid therapy to sustain hydration

Last Reviewed by Committee 7/13/16