Anesthetic effects and body weight changes associated with ketamine-xylazine-lidocaine administered to CD-1 mice

Urshulaa Dholakia, Stuart C. Clark-Price, Stephanie C.J. Keating, Adam W. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anesthesia for mice is commonly performed through the injection of parenteral agents via the intraperitoneal (IP) route. Variability in anesthetic sensitivities has been noted in mice resulting in inconsistencies in anesthetic depth and/or mortality. Anesthetic protocols that improve consistency and safety are needed. The objectives of this study were to assess the effects of intraperitoneal (IP) ketamine (95 mg/kg) and xylazine (7 mg/kg) alone or combined with lidocaine at 4, 8, or 16 mg/kg on time to loss (LRR) and return (RRR) of righting reflex, duration of immobilization and loss of pedal withdrawal response (PWR), body weight and histopathology in CD-1 mice. In a prospective, randomized trial, 36 male CD-1 mice, 4–6 weeks of age were randomly assigned to 5 groups: saline (SA, n = 4); ketamine-xylazine (KX, n = 8); ketamine-xylazine-lidocaine 4 mg/kg (KXL4, n = 8); ketamine-xylazine-lidocaine 8 mg/kg (KXL8, n = 8); ketamine-xylazine-lidocaine 16 mg/kg (KXL16, n = 8). Two mice in each group were euthanized at day 2 post-injection and the remaining mice were euthanized at day 11 post-injection. After IP injection, LRR and RRR, duration of immobilization and loss of PWR, body weight and histopathology were evaluated. LRR occurred sooner in mice receiving KXL16 compared with KX, with median (range) times of 78 (62–104) and 107 (91–298) seconds, respectively. Loss of PWR occurred in 1, 5, 4, 6 mice for groups KX, KXL4, KXL8, and KXL16 respectively. Median (range) duration of absent PWR was longer in mice receiving KXL16 at 13 (0–30) minutes, compared to KX at 0 (0–9) minutes. Duration of immobilization and RRR were not different between groups. Weight loss occurred 2 days following anesthesia but was not different between groups. Weight gain was significantly greater in all lidocaine groups 11 days post-injection compared to KX. No mortality or histopathologic abnormalities were observed in any group. Lidocaine administered with ketamine and xylazine shortens the onset of anesthesia in mice and improves anesthetic depth without prolonging recovery time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0184911
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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