A comparison of pentobarbital, fentanyl-droperidol, ketamine-xylazine and ketamine-diazepam anesthesia in adult male rats.Lab Anim Sci. 1987 Dec; 37(6):726-30.LA
Proper use of anesthetics is of paramount importance for humane animal care. Current research trends show a greater reliance on rats for laboratory investigations. This study compared several dosages for four different drugs, (pentobarbital, fentanyl-droperidol, ketamine-xylazine and ketamine-diazepam) for use in the laboratory rat. Each drug was evaluated in respect to its onset, duration of effect, recovery, adverse effects and mortality. A quantitative assessment of the depth of anesthesia also was obtained for all dosages of each drug. Results showed that all tested dosages of pentobarbital, ketamine-xylazine and ketamine-diazepam were suitable anesthetics for use in the laboratory rat. Low dosages of fentanyl-droperidol (Innovar-Vet), however, appeared to produce a state known as neuroleptanalgesia as opposed to anesthesia seen with the other agents.