Assessment of carprofen and buprenorphine on recovery of mice after surgical removal of the mammary fat pad

Trinka W. Adamson, Lon V. Kendall, Sherri Goss, Kevin Grayson, Chadi Tourna, Rupert Palme, Jane Q. Chen, Alexander D Borowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the level of pain elicited by mammary fat pad removal surgery and the effects of postoperative analgesics on recovery. Female FVB mice were anesthetized, and mammary fat pad removal was performed. After surgery, mice received carprofen, buprenorphine, a combination of carprofen and buprenorphine, or saline treatment. Additional mice received anesthesia but no surgery or treatment. Food and water intake, body weight, wheel running activity, and a visual assessment score were recorded daily for 4 d after surgery and compared with presurgical findings. Corticosterone metabolites in fecal samples were analyzed at 12 and 24 h postsurgically and compared with baseline values. All surgical groups had significantly decreased food intake at 24 h, with a return to baseline by 48 h. The combination treatment resulted in a significantly decreased water intake and body weight at 24 h. All surgical groups had significantly decreased wheel running activity at 24 h only. The visual assessment scores indicated mild pain for all surgical groups, with the buprenorphine treated mice showing the highest pain index scores, as compared with nonsurgical controls. Fecal corticosterone metabolite levels did not differ significantly between any of the groups or across time. The parameters used in this study did not indicate that administration of these analgesic regimens improved recovery as compared with that of saline-treated mice. Care should be taken when using visual assessment scores to evaluate pain in mice, given that analgesics may have side effects that inadvertently elevate the score.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-616
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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