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The slides in this module do not contain the quiz which is needed for enrollment. The information in this module is intended as reference material and is the same as in the AALAS Learning Library, but with additional information and formatting.
The neonates of rodents are generally resistant to the effects of hypoxia.
Euthanasia agents which act by way of hypoxia may cause significant delays in the onset of death. As a result, neonatal animals typically take longer to die than adults.
Therefore, methods of euthanasia which do not induce hypoxia, e.g., chemical or physical methods, are preferable for neonates.
For example, an inhalant agent could be administered to neonates for the purpose of inducing the loss of consciousness, and then another method (physical, such as decapitation) could be used to kill the animal.
The NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) emphasized the importance of ensuring that euthanatized animals are really dead, and further stated that unintended recovery of animals after euthanasia represents:
1) serious noncompliance with the PHS Policy and
2) a serious deviation from the provisions of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.
Such incidents must be reported to OLAW by the IACUC with a full explanation of the circumstances and actions taken to prevent recurrence.
It is very important that you make sure an animal is really dead before placing it in a bag and disposing of the bag. It is easy to mistake a deeply anesthetized animal for a dead animal, and you do not want the animal to experience the terror of waking up in a closed bag and slowly suffocating to death.