Table 3: Selected Criteria For Euthanasia of Moribund Animals

  • Rapid weight loss (15-20 percent within a few days)

  • Extended period of weight loss (progressing to emaciated state)

  • Spreading area of alopecia caused by disease

  • Rough hair coat, hunched posture, distended abdomen, or lethargy, especially if debilitating or prolinged (3 days)

  • Diarrhea, especially if debilitating or prolonged (3 days)

  • Coughing, rales, wheezing, and nasal discharge

  • Distinct icterus and/or anemia

  • Rapid growth of mass or masses, or clinical signs of neoplasia

  • Central nervous system signs such as head tilt, tremors, spasticity, seizures, circling, or paralysis or paresis, especially if associated with anorexia

  • Frank bleeding from any orifice

  • Markedly discolored urine, polyuria, or anuria

  • Persistent self-induced trauma

  • Lesions interfering with eating or drinking

  • Clinical signs of suspected infectious disease requiring necropsy for diagnosis

  • Other clinical signs judged by experienced technical staff to be indicative of moribund condition
Montgomery, C.A. Jr. (1990). Cancer Bulletin 42(4): 230-237.


This table was referenced in: Olfert, Ernest D. "Defining an Acceptable Endpoint in Invasive Experiments," Animal Welfare Information Center Newsletter, 6(1):3-7, Spring 1995.

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December 30, 1997
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