Chatigny, F., Creighton, C. M., Stevens, E. D. 2018. Intramuscular infiltration of a local anesthetic, lidocaine, does not result in adverse behavioural side effects in rainbow trout. Scientific Reports 8, 10250.
Fish are a useful animal model for research, but our improvement in some aspects of their welfare has not kept pace with their increased popularity for this use. For example, researchers rarely use analgesics. We evaluated the side effects of lidocaine, a local anesthetic widely used in human and veterinary medicine. We infiltrated lidocaine on each side of the dorsal fin (total 20 mg/kg) of young rainbow trout (15 fish per group) compared with infiltration with an equal volume of saline. We monitored behaviour of individual trout during the 4-hour trial. Food was presented 5 times during the trial (30 min, 1 h, 2 h, 3 h, 4 h after infiltration) and we analyzed behaviour for 1 minute before and after food presentation. Behaviour of Saline-Infiltrated trout compared with trout that received no infiltration showed that infiltration in and of itself had no statistically significant effects on trout behaviour. However, there were many statistically significant effects of Lidocaine-Infiltrated trout compared with Saline-Infiltrated trout; none of the side-effects were adverse.