Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science : JAALAS

Use of a Far-Infrared Active Warming Device in Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus).

PMID 26632788


Small mammals have difficulty maintaining body temperature under anesthesia. This hypothermia is a potential detriment not only to the health and comfort of the animal but also to the integrity of any treatment given or data gathered during the anesthetic period. Using an external warming device to assist with temperature regulation can mitigate these effects. In this study, we investigated the ability of an advanced warming device that uses far-infrared (FIR) heating and responds to real-time core temperature monitoring to maintain a normothermic core temperature in guinea pigs. Body temperatures were measured during 30 min of ketamine-xylazine general anesthesia with and without application of the heating device. The loss of core body heat from anesthetized guinea pigs under typical (unwarmed) conditions was significant, and this loss was almost completely mitigated by application of the FIR heating pad. The significant difference between the temperatures of the actively warmed guinea pigs as compared with the control group began as early as 14 min after anesthetic administration, leading to a 2.6 °C difference at 30 min. Loss of core body temperature was not correlated with animals' body weight; however, weight influences the efficiency of FIR warming slightly. These study results show that the FIR heating device accurately controls core body temperature in guinea pigs, therefore potentially alleviating the effects of body heat loss on animal physiology.