Basic considerations for pain management in laboratory animals

James O. Marx, Mark A. Suckow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Ethical, scientific, and regulatory perspectives drive the expectation that a pain management strategy be applied to animals determined to either be in pain or to potentially experience pain. The development of an appropriate pain mitigation strategy should consider the source, type, and expected duration of pain. Pain may be the result of experimental manipulation or may be related to the spontaneous disease. Further, pain can originate from diverse sources and be categorized as somatic, visceral, neuropathic, or cancer pain. While a variety of pharmacological interventions can be applied to pain control, other strategies can also be exploited. These include reduction of animal stress through the use of environmental enrichment, socialization, and gentle handling of animals; acupuncture and electroacupuncture; physical therapy and exercise; cryotherapy; and laser therapy. In all cases, it is essential that personnel charged with the oversight and handling of animals be properly trained with respect to recognition of pain in animals and the steps to be taken with respect to pain control.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128222157
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Non-pharmacologic control of pain
  • Operational aspects of pain control
  • Rationale for pain control
  • Types of pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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