Journal article

Behavioural and cardiovascular responses of rats to euthanasia using carbon dioxide gas

W Smith, SB Harrap

LABORATORY ANIMALS | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 1997

Abstract

Our results showed more rapid falls in pulse rate and blood pressure in rats euthanized in a chamber precharged with carbon dioxide (CO2), when compared with rats euthanized more slowly, but death still took over 5 min in the former group. There was no behavioural evidence of pain or distress in either group during euthanasia. Initial ataxia and dyspnoea was punctuated by a lag before death, thus separating euthanasia into three clearly defined phases. All visual signs of death preceded complete vascular collapse by about 1 min in both groups, so we recommend that gas flow be maintained for at least 1 min after apparent death.

University of Melbourne Researchers