Introduction: Effective and safe anesthesia for rodents has long
been a leading concern among biomedical researchers. Intraperitoneal
injection constitutes an alternative to inhalant anesthesia.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify a safe, reliable,
and effective anesthesia and postoperative analgesia protocol for
laboratory rats exposed to painful procedures.
Material and methods: Twenty-seven female Wistar rats in an
ongoing study that required surgery were randomized into groups for
three different intraperitoneal anesthesia protocols and three different
analgesia regimens. The anesthesia groups were (1) medetomidine +
ketamine (MK), (2) ketamine + xylacine (KX), and (3) fentanyl +
medetomidine (FM). Three analgesia groups were equally distributed among
the anesthesia groups: (1) local mepivacaine + oral ibuprofen (MI), (2)
oral tramadol + oral ibuprofen (TI), and (3) local tramadol + oral
tramadol + oral ibuprofen (TTI). A core was assigned to measure
anesthesia (0-3) and analgesia (0-2) effectiveness; the lower the score,
the more effective the treatment.
Results: The mean MK score was 0.44 versus 2.00 for FM and 2.33
for KX. Mean score for analgesia on the first postoperative day was TTI
(4.66) TI (9.13), and MI (10.14). Mean score 48 hours after surgery was
TTI (3.4), TI (6.71), and MI (9.5). These differences were statistically
Conclusion: MK was shown to be a reliable, safe, and effective
method of anesthesia. The TTI analgesia regimen is strongly recommended
in light of these results.