Mouse Anesthesia for IACUCs and Researchers


Despite being commonly performed in research, successful anesthesia of mice is not easily accomplished and there is room for improvement in the methods of anesthetizing these important animals. Because of their small size, administering and monitoring anesthesia in mice presents many challenges not seen with other species. Enhancing researchers’ and IACUC members’ understanding of this practice will help contribute to improved animal welfare and better science.

Presented by a veterinarian whose research focuses on improving the care of mice in biomedical research, including specifically anesthesia of the mouse, this basic-level webinar will teach the fundamentals of mouse anesthesia to researchers and IACUC staff who may not be familiar with anesthesiology. The following topics will be covered:

  • Basics of anesthesia, including a discussion of the different depths of anesthesia
  • Refining anesthetic protocols to meet anesthetic needs for imaging and surgical procedures
  • Unique challenges in anesthetizing mice
  • Basic mouse anesthesia protocols
  • Monitoring mice under anesthesia
  • Control of post-operative pain
  • Linking quality anesthesia with quality science

What will I learn?

After attending this webinar, you will be equipped to ask the right questions about mouse anesthesia procedures in research protocols. This webinar will help you:

  • Determine the proper anesthetic depth for a given protocol
  • Make basic recommendations about anesthetic protocols to achieve the different planes of anesthesia
  • Understand the basics of anesthetic monitoring as an indicator of correct administration of anesthesia

Who should attend?

This basic-level webinar will benefit IACUC staff and members as well as researchers who are unfamiliar with anesthesia or mouse anesthesia.

Continuing Education

CPIA Credit label Webinar participants holding the Certified Professional in IACUC Administration (CPIA®) credential may apply 1.0 continuing education credits towards CPIA recertification.


Jim Marx, DVM, PhD, DACLAM is assistant professor of pathobiology at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) School of Veterinary Medicine and assistant director of clinical care at UPenn University Laboratory Animal Resources. After earning a bachelor's degree in animal science from Cornell University, Dr. Marx remained in Ithaca and attended veterinary school at Cornell. After graduation, he worked in Florida as a small animal and emergency clinician for several years before returning to school at Penn State to obtain his PhD in Kinesiology. He continued to do emergency work in small animal medicine while earning his PhD and during two post docs, one at Penn State and one at UPenn. At this point, he did a residency in laboratory animal medicine at UPenn and stayed on as a staff veterinarian following this advanced training. He joined the faculty at the veterinary school a year later and, in addition to his clinical responsibilities, has developed a line of research focusing on improving the care of mice in biomedical research, with a special interest in mouse anesthesia.

Background Reading

Arras, M., Autenried, P., Rettich, Am. Spaeni, D., Rülike, T. (2001). Optimization of intraperitoneal injection anesthesia in mice: drugs, dosages, adverse effects, and anesthesia depthComp Med, 51(5), 443-56.

Carbone, L., Austin, J. (2016). Pain and Laboratory Animals: Publication Practices for Better Data Reproducibility and Better Animal WelfarePLoS One, 12, e0155001. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155001


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