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Proper euthanasia with carbon dioxide...

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Posted by: Kelly_Haller at Fri Jul 29 21:26:54 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Kelly_Haller ]  
   

There are numerous techniques for the euthanasia of rodents, both physical and chemical. Physical methods involve cervical dislocation and blunt force trauma to the head or neck. While these techniques are quite satisfactory and instantaneous if performed correctly, they should only be carried out by persons who are deliberate and purposeful, so as to avoid any suffering by the rodent.

Chemical methods involve inhalants such as carbon monoxide, ether, chloroform, halothane, and carbon dioxide. Of these, only the use of carbon dioxide will result in euthanized rodents which are safe for use as feeders for other animals.

While carbon dioxide is probably one of the best methods for euthanasia, it can be inhumane if not used properly. The most common mistake made by most people is flooding the chamber too quickly with the gas. This rapid increase in carbon dioxide concentration results in respiratory irritation and distress before the anesthetic properties of the gas can take effect. The euthanasia chamber should be air tight except for two small holes in the top. The gas should be introduced through one hole and the second hole is for the venting of the interior atmosphere when displaced by the heavier carbon dioxide. The gas needs to be initially introduced very slowly so as to induce anesthesia without stress before final euthanasia. After the rodents start to become unconscious, you can increase the gas flow to put them completely down. When this is done properly, the rodents will become unconscious within 30 to 45 seconds and not show the typical signs of agitation and distress before euthanasia.

Kelly


   

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