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Animals 2015, 5(3), 702-716; doi:10.3390/ani5030380

Physiologic Measures of Animal Stress during Transitional States of Consciousness

College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Academic Editor: Lee Niel
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Stress and Pain Assessment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [136 KB, uploaded 18 August 2015]

Simple Summary

The humaneness, and therefore suitability, of any particular agent or method used to produce unconsciousness in animals, whether for anesthesia, euthanasia, humane slaughter, or depopulation, depends on the experience of pain or distress prior to loss of consciousness. Commonly reported physiologic measures of animal stress, including physical movement and vocalization, heart rate and ECG, electroencephalographic activity, and plasma and neuronal stress markers are discussed within this context.

Abstract

Determination of the humaneness of methods used to produce unconsciousness in animals, whether for anesthesia, euthanasia, humane slaughter, or depopulation, relies on our ability to assess stress, pain, and consciousness within the contexts of method and application. Determining the subjective experience of animals during transitional states of consciousness, however, can be quite difficult; further, loss of consciousness with different agents or methods may occur at substantially different rates. Stress and distress may manifest behaviorally (e.g., overt escape behaviors, approach-avoidance preferences [aversion]) or physiologically (e.g., movement, vocalization, changes in electroencephalographic activity, heart rate, sympathetic nervous system [SNS] activity, hypothalamic-pituitary axis [HPA] activity), such that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be easily applied to evaluate methods or determine specific species applications. The purpose of this review is to discuss methods of evaluating stress in animals using physiologic methods, with emphasis on the transition between the conscious and unconscious states. View Full-Text
Keywords: consciousness; anesthesia; euthanasia; stress markers; heart rate; ECG; EEG; BOLD MRI; c-fos consciousness; anesthesia; euthanasia; stress markers; heart rate; ECG; EEG; BOLD MRI; c-fos
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Meyer, R.E. Physiologic Measures of Animal Stress during Transitional States of Consciousness. Animals 2015, 5, 702-716.

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