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Reported analgesic administration to rabbits, pigs, sheep, dogs and non-human primates undergoing experimental surgical procedures

Lookup NU author(s): Claire Coulter, Emeritus Professor Paul FlecknellORCiD, Dr Claire Richardson


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Reported analgesic use following experimental surgery is low in rodents and there has been little published information on the frequency of analgesic use in other laboratory species. A structured literature review was conducted to examine analgesic administration in larger laboratory animals. The Scirus search engine was used to identify studies published in peer-reviewed journals that reported carrying out experimental surgery on 'large' laboratory animals, specifically rabbits, pigs, sheep, dogs and non-human primates. Seventy-four studies between 2000 and 2001 and 75 studies between 2005 and 2006 were included in the review. There was an increase in the reported administration of systemic analgesics to these species from 50% in 2000-2001 to 63% in 2005-2006. When all agents with analgesic properties were considered (systemic analgesics, local anaesthetics and anaesthetics with analgesic components), the proportion of papers that reported some form of analgesic administration to 'large' laboratory animals increased from 86% in 2000-2001 to 89% in 2005-2006. Overall rabbits, pigs, sheep, dogs and non-human primates were more likely to receive analgesics following potentially painful experimental procedures than has been reported in laboratory rodents but analgesic administration to 'large' laboratory species is still not optimal.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Coulter CA, Flecknell PA, Richardson CA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Laboratory Animals

Year: 2009

Volume: 43

Issue: 3

Pages: 232-238

ISSN (print): 0023-6772

ISSN (electronic): 1758-1117

Publisher: Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd.


DOI: 10.1258/la.2008.008021


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