Inhalation Anesthesia with Rodents

Respiratory depression and hypothermia are two of the major concerns during anesthesia of small rodents. Therefore anesthetic regimens that result in rapid recovery and easy adjustment of depth are preferred. Inhalation, or "gas" anesthesia, is an anesthetic technique that provides rapid recovery as well as excellent control over anesthetic depth. All of the commonly used inhalation anesthetics can be safely used in small rodents, provided appropriate equipment is available. Halothane and isoflurane provide good skeletal muscle relaxation and only mild to moderate depression of the cardiovascular and/or respiratory systems. This workshop will provide the following information:

  • The advantages and disadvantages of injectable versus inhalation anesthesia
  • Isoflurane and halothane as inhalation anesthetics, including the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Review of equipment necessary for the safe and effective use of gas anesthesia
  • Induction, maintenance, monitoring, and recovery of an animal anesthetized with gas anesthesia
  • Personnel safety when working with inhalation agents


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