Rodent Anesthesia and Analgesia


General Anesthesia: Loss of consciousness in addition to loss of sensation; ideally includes hypnosis, hyporeflexia, analgesia, and muscle relaxation; can be produced using a single drug (i.e. Isoflurane) or a combination of drugs (i.e. Ketamine and Xylazine).

Analgesia: Loss of sensitivity to pain.

Anesthesia does not necessarily equate with analgesia!

General anesthesia produces loss of consciousness, so the animal cannot perceive pain, but in unconscious animals, painful stimuli will still be transmitted and processed by the central nervous system. Although the animal does not perceive pain during the surgery, central hypersensitivity can still develop in the spinal cord and brain causing postoperative pain to be heightened. Some anesthetics do have analgesic properties such as the alpha-2 adrenoreceptor agonists (i.e. Xylazine, Medetomidine). In addition, analgesics can be used as part of the anesthetic regimen (i.e. opioids).




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