Vet Anaesth Analg. 2022 May 12:S1467-2987(22)00074-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaa.2022.05.001. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To compare two commercial formulations of alfaxalone for immersion anaesthesia in laboratory zebrafish.
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, blinded, randomized study.
ANIMALS: A total of 20 adult Danio rerio (Tuebingen strain).
METHODS: Zebrafish were divided into two groups of 10 (five female, five male) and placed in individual immersion baths containing 10 mg L-1 of unpreserved alfaxalone (group 1) or preserved alfaxalone (group 2). Anaesthetists blinded to treatment used a composite score scale (CSS) (range 0-12) to assess fish every 30 seconds until induction of anaesthesia. Anaesthetic induction occurred when equilibrium and response to stimulus were lost. Fish were then placed in a clean water bath and scored every 60 seconds. Recovery from anaesthesia was defined as a CSS of ≤ 1. Time variables recorded were anaesthetic induction time (AIT), anaesthetic recovery time (ART) and total procedure time (TPT). Fish were observed for evidence of roupgross external pathology during the procedure. Following anaesthesia, four fish from each group were randomly chosen and euthanized for gill histopathology analysis immediately after recovery criteria were met. Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation. An independent t test was used to compare the difference in average anaesthetic time variables between groups (α = 0.05).
RESULTS: There were no statistical differences between groups in reported variables. TPT, AIT and ART were 10.2 ± 1.2, 1.9 ± 0.9 and 8.3 ± 1.2 minutes for group 1 and 10.8 ± 2.9, 2.4 ± 1.2 and 8.4 ± 2.7 minutes for group 2. No gross external pathology was evident, and no fish died during the experimental period. Histopathology showed normal gill pathology and no difference between the groups.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Immersion anaesthesia using 10 mg L-1 of either formulation of alfaxalone resulted in anaesthesia of similar quality and duration.