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Open Access Anesthesia Protocol for Hyperpnea-Induced Airway Obstruction in the Guinea Pig

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Guinea pigs (GP; Cavia porcellus) are used extensively as an experimental animal model in a wide range of disciplines including respiratory physiology. Guinea pigs are difficult to anesthetize, and many investigators use paralytic agents to eliminate spontaneous respiratory movements; however, strict federal regulations and institutional policies governing use of paralytic agents are few. We report an anesthesia protocol, using the injectable anesthetic agents sodium pentobarbital (SP) and xylazine (XYL) for the GP that induces consistent anesthesia while eliminating use of paralytic agents. Sixty percent of the calculated SP dose (45 mg/kg of body weight) was given for anesthesia induction, followed by 50% of the calculated XYL dose (7 mg/kg) 15 min later. Depth of anesthesia was monitored by response to toe pinch, ECG, and spontaneous respiratory movements. The animals were given additional boosts of SP (5 to 15% of the original dose, i. p. or i. v.) if a change in anesthesia depth was noted. Thirty-one animals completed the hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction (HIB) study with no fatalities. Using this protocol, we collected consistent, repeatable, and reliable data without use of propranolol or skeletal muscle paralytics. We believe that this protocol is not restricted to the GP and could be adapted for use in other terminal experiments.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Physiology and Laboratory Animal Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1672 2: University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Cyncoed Campus, Cyncoed Road, Cardiff, Wales, CF23 6XD, United Kingdom 3: John Hopkins University, 720 Rutland Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21205

Publication date: 2001-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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