Evaluation of common anesthetic and analgesic techniques for tail biopsy in mice
Jones, CP and Carver, SS and Kendall, LV, Evaluation of common anesthetic and analgesic techniques for tail biopsy in mice, Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 51, (6) pp. 808-814. ISSN 1559-6109 (2012) [Refereed Article]
Tail biopsy in mice is a common procedure in genetically modified mouse colonies. We evaluated the anesthetic and analgesic
effects of various agents commonly used to mitigate pain after tail biopsy. We used a hot-water immersion assay to
evaluate the analgesic effects of isoflurane, ice-cold ethanol, ethyl chloride, buprenorphine, and 2-point local nerve blocks
before studying their effects on mice receiving tail biopsies. Mice treated with ethyl chloride spray, isoflurane and buprenorphine,
and 2-point local nerve blocks demonstrated increased tail-flick latency compared with that of untreated mice.
When we evaluated the behavior of adult and preweanling mice after tail biopsy, untreated mice demonstrated behavioral
changes immediately after tail biopsy that lasted 30 to 60 min before returning to normal. The use of isoflurane, isoflurane
and buprenorphine, buprenorphine, 2-point nerve block, or ethyl chloride spray in adult mice did not significantly improve
their behavioral response to tail biopsy. Similarly, the use of buprenorphine and ethyl chloride spray in preweanling mice
did not improve their behavioral response to tail biopsy compared with that of the untreated group. However, immersion in
bupivacaine for 30 s after tail biopsy decreased tail grooming behavior during the first 30 min after tail biopsy. The anesthetic
and analgesic regimens tested provide little benefit in adult and preweanling mice. Given that tail biopsy results in pain
that lasts 30 to 60 min, investigators should carefully consider the appropriate anesthetic or analgesic regimen to incorporate
into tail-biopsy procedures for mice.