Euthanasia techniques in amphibians are poorly described and sparsely validated. This study investigated potassium chloride (KCl) for euthanasia of anesthetized marine toads ( Rhinella marina ). Twenty three toads were immersed in buffered MS-222 (2 g/L) for five minutes (min) beyond loss of righting reflex, manually removed, and randomly administered KCl (n = 6/group) via one of three routes: intracardiac at 10 mEq/kg (IC), intracoelomic at 100 mEq/kg (ICe), or immersion at 4500 mEq/L (IMS) or no treatment (C) (n = 5/group). Doppler sounds were assessed continuously from prior to treatment until two min post-treatment and every five min thereafter until sound cessation or resumption of spontaneous movement. Plasma potassium concentration (K+) was measured at the time of Doppler sound cessation in ICe and IMS. In IC, ICe, IMS, and C, Doppler sound cessation occurred in 4/6, 6/6, 6/6, and 1/5 toads with median (range) or mean + SD times of 0.23 (0-4.65), 17.5 + 9.0, 40.6 + 10.9, and >420 min, respectively. Nonsuccess in 2/6 toads in IC was suspected due to technique failure. Plasma K+ exceeded the limits of detection (>9 mmol/L) in 12/12 toads in ICe and IMS. Five of six toads in C resumed spontaneous movement at median (range) times of 327 (300-367) min. KCl delivered via an intracardiac, intracoelomic, or immersion routes resulted in Doppler sound cessation in 16 of 18 toads and may be appropriate for euthanasia of anesthetized marine toads.

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