Methods of Euthanasia

General Recommendations for Euthanizing Laboratory Animals

Method or Agent Class Species Comment
Carbon dioxide hypoxia-depression Rodents Rabbits Unconsciousness fairly rapid. No motor activity. A nonprecharged chamber and a low gas flow rate recommended.
Anesthetic gases Metofane- expensive hypoxia-depression Rabbits and larger require mask or intubation. Unconsciousness fairly rapid. Motor activity may occur. User must be protected. Potential toxicity.
Barbituric acid derivatives hypoxia-depression All species (dogs, cats, rabbits) Very rapid, i.v. in rabbits, i.p. in rodents. Very good. Controlled substances.
Cervical Dislocation physical damage Mice, small rats, hamster Requires experience. Motor activity. Light anesthesia is suggested. Requires scientific justification.

Special Recommendations on Euthanasia of Animals When Chemically Uncontaminated Tissues and/or Immediate Cessation of CNS Metabolism is Required

Method Comments
Cervical Dislocation Only mice and rats <200g. Requires experience. Motor activity will occur. Light anesthesia is suggested. Currently requires scientific justification.
Decapitation Motor activity will occur. Care to avoid noxious stimuli is essential for unanesthetized animals. Light anesthesia is recommended.