Postsurgical food and water consumption, fecal corticosterone metabolites, and behavior assessment as noninvasive measures of pain in vasectomized BALB/c mice

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Recognition of pain and stress is a common challenge when working with laboratory mice. The aim of the current study was to identify noninvasive parameters to assess the severity and duration of possible pain and stress after vasectomy in BALB/c mice. Mice underwent isoflurane anesthesia with or without vasectomy. Body weight, food and water intake, and fecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) were measured 3 d before and 3 d after the procedure. Behavior was recorded 1, 2, 4, and 8 h after the procedure. Food and water consumption and defecation were reduced postoperatively in the vasectomized group compared with mice given anesthesia only. FCM were elevated the first day after anesthesia in the control mice but not in the vasectomized group. Vasectomy resulted in behavioral changes that were not seen in the group that was anesthetized only. In conclusion, food and water consumption and pain-related behaviors, but not FCM, may be useful as noninvasive parameters to assess postoperative pain and stress in vasectomized mice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

    Research areas

  • Animals, Behavior, Animal, Body Weight, Corticosterone, Drinking, Eating, Feces, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Observation, Pain Measurement, Pain, Postoperative, Statistics, Nonparametric, Vasectomy

ID: 46436563