Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Alicia M. Karas

Anesthesia, Pain Medicine

Anesthesia

A veterinary anesthesiologist, pain specialist, and animal welfare scientist,Dr. Alicia Karas has dedicated her career to the alleviation of pain in animals. She is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists.

Dr. Karas graduated from Tufts Veterinary School in 1989 and for several years worked in small animal and exotic practice in North Carolina and Texas prior to returning to Tufts to do a residency in anesthesiology. She developed an interest in pain medicine at a time when the field was still developing, and stayed at Tufts for a number of reasons: a love of New England, the Cummings School's commitment to animal and human welfare, and her husband's post at Tufts Medical School.

Dr. Karas started an elective on pain management in 1994 for DVM students and residents, and, along with her anesthesia section colleagues, brought many of the lectures into the school's core curriculum. She uses video often in her lectures to illustrate various indicators of pain in many species.

At the Cummings School, Dr. Karas teaches anesthesia and pain medicine delivery for both companion and laboratory animal populations. She is always examining ways to assess pain and improve quality-of-life, either in the clinic or through her research. This includes reducing the pain of examinations by using skillful sedation, meeting postoperative needs for pain control and treating chronic pain. What I love about teaching is the ability to share this vision of making hospital visits and everyday life as comfortable and fulfilled as possible, she says. There are so many ways to do this—our clinicians and technicians work to diagnose and cure illness; along with that goes the experience of being cared for.

In her free time, Dr. Karas and her husband enjoy spending time with their two charismatic black Labradors, who participate in obedience competitions. She brings her love of observation and positive reward for pets to her work—most remarkably by motivating a cat with severely disabled front paws to begin using them again if he touchedhis owner's hand for a treat.

Education

  • DVM - Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine - 1989
  • MS - Tufts School of Nutrition - 1985
  • BA - Harvard University - 1981

Board Certification

  • American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia (ACVAA)

Pain-suppressed behaviors in the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Author(s):Mazor-Thomas, J.E. | Mann, P.E. | Karas, A.Z. | Tseng, F.
Publication year: 2014
Journal / Book title: Applied Animal Behaviour Science

Psychogenic stress in hospitalized dogs: Cross species comparisons, implications for health care, and the challenges of evaluation

Author(s):Hekman, J.P. | Karas, A.Z. | Sharp, C.R.
Publication year: 2014
Journal / Book title: Animals

The time-to-integrate-to-nest test as an indicator of wellbeing in laboratory mice

Author(s):Rock, M.L. | Karas, A.Z. | Gartrell Rodriguez, K.B. | Gallo, M.S. | Pritchett-Corning, K. | Karas, R.H. | Aronovitz, M. | Gaskill, B.N.
Publication year: 2014
Journal / Book title: Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science

Nest building as an indicator of health and welfare in laboratory mice.

Author(s):Gaskill, B.N. | Karas, A.Z. | Garner, J.P. | Pritchett-Corning, K.R.
Publication year: 2013
Journal / Book title: Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

Salivary cortisol concentrations and behavior in a population of healthy dogs hospitalized for elective procedures

Author(s):Hekman, J.P. | Karas, A.Z. | Dreschel, N.A.
Publication year: 2012
Journal / Book title: Applied Animal Behaviour Science

Surgical management of the goat.

Author(s):Karas, A.Z.
Publication year: 2011
Journal / Book title: Lab animal

To the editor

Author(s):Karas, A.Z.
Publication year: 2011
Journal / Book title: Lab Animal

A model for clinical evaluation of perioperative analgesia in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Author(s):Weaver, L.A. | Blaze, C.A. | Linder, D.E. | Andrutis, K.A. | Karas, A.Z.
Publication year: 2010
Journal / Book title: Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science

Use of wound soaker catheters for the administration of local anesthetic for post-operative analgesia: 56 cases

Author(s):Abelson, A.L. | McCobb, E.C. | Shaw, S. | Armitage-Chan, E. | Wetmore, L.A. | Karas, A.Z. | Blaze, C.
Publication year: 2009
Journal / Book title: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia

Strategies for Assessing and Minimizing Pain

Author(s):Karas, A.Z. | Danneman, P.J. | Cadillac, J.M.
Publication year: 2008
Journal / Book title: Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals

Preface

Author(s):Fish, R.E. | Brown, M.J. | Danneman, P.J. | Karas, A.Z.
Publication year: 2008
Journal / Book title: Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals

Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals

Author(s):Fish, R. | Danneman, P. | Brown, M. | Karas, A.
Publication year: 2008
Journal / Book title: Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals

The authors respond

Author(s):Abelson, A.L. | Karas, A.Z.
Publication year: 2008
Journal / Book title: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Anesthesia case of the month

Author(s):Abelson, A.L. | Faissler, D. | Karas, A.Z.
Publication year: 2008
Journal / Book title: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Barriers to assessment and treatment of pain in laboratory animals

Author(s):Karas, A.Z.
Publication year: 2006
Journal / Book title: Lab Animal

Assessing and managing pain and distress for ethics committees

Author(s):Flecknell, P. | Karas, A.
Publication year: 2004
Journal / Book title: ATLA Alternatives to Laboratory Animals

Effect of caudal epidural xylazine on intraoperative distress and post-operative pain in Holstein heifers

Author(s):Chevalier, H.M. | Provost, P.J. | Karas, A.Z.
Publication year: 2004
Journal / Book title: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia

Recognizing signs of pain [2] (multiple letters)

Author(s):Karas, A.Z. | Goldberg, A.M. | Tranquilli, W. | Gross, D.
Publication year: 2003
Journal / Book title: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Use of rocuronium for endotracheal intubation of North American Gulf Coast box turtles

Author(s):Kaufman, G.E. | Seymour, R.E. | Bonner, B.B. | Court, M.H. | Karas, A.Z.
Publication year: 2003
Journal / Book title: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Intravenous lidocaine and small-intestinal size, abdominal fluid, and outcome after colic surgery in horses

Author(s):Brianceau, P. | Chevalier, H. | Karas, A. | Court, M.H. | Bassage, L. | Kirker-Head, C. | Provost, P. | Paradis, M.R.
Publication year: 2002
Journal / Book title: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine

General Research Interests

  • Pain medicine, refinement research

Selected Research Projects

  • Evidence-based surgical analgesia in the laboratory rabbit
  • Evaluation of surgical analgesia in the laboratory mouse
  • Effects of Bowen on stress in hospitalized dogs
  • Nest behavior as an indicator of well-being in laboratory mice

Teaching

  • Anesthesiology & Pain Management
  • An Introduction to Animal Welfare
  • Animals in Society: Research

Research Interests by Area

Pain Management and Alternatives
  • Evidence-based surgical analgesia in laboratory animals, pharmacokinetics of analgesic drugs in dogs, Analgesia, pain medication, complementary medicine, laboratory animals
Spontaneous Animal Disease Models
  • Chronic pain in animals, post-operative pain