Laboratory Animal Facilities

Laboratory Animal Facilities


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  • Veterinary Care - Surgical Services


    Anesthesia Support/Surgery/Postoperative Care

    The Attending Veterinarian is responsible for oversight of all surgical programs and post-surgical care. All surgical procedures performed must be those described in an IACUC-approved Animal Activity Protocol. 

    To reserve veterinary facilities investigators should contact the LAF office (984-1385).

    Rodent Survival Surgery

    Rodent surgeries may be conducted in a surgical facility or a dedicated space in the laboratory. Appropriate surgical protocols must be included in the IACUC-approved Animal Activity Protocol. LAF procedure rooms and anesthetic equipment are available and appropriate for performing rodent survival surgeries. The LAF veterinary staff is available to assist investigators with rodent anesthesia and surgical protocols.

    Nonrodent Survival Surgery

    Nonrodent survival surgeries must be conducted in IACUC-approved surgical facilities (LAF facilities or Department of Anatomy surgical facility). Appropriate surgical protocols must be included in the IACUC-approved Animal Activity Protocol. The LAF veterinary staff can provide anesthesia support for investigators with surgical protocols. The use of LAF surgical facilities and technical support must be scheduled through the LAF office (984-1385). Careful preparation and coordination between the investigator and LAF veterinary staff for anesthesia/surgery will ensure uneventful and successful outcomes.

    Pre-surgical planning.

    Schedule proposed procedure with the LAF office (984-1385) to reserve surgical space and technical assistance. Any supplies required from LAF should be requested when scheduling.

    Pre-surgical fasting.

    Nonrodent species should be fasted for a minimum of 8 - 12 hours prior to induction of anesthesia. Animals must be fasted from their food ration only, but allowed free access to water. The LAF utilizes pink “NPO” cards to alert the care staff not to feed the animal(s). This should be coordinated with the veterinary staff/LAF office.

    Surgical Procedures

    Ascertain that all necessary anesthetic agents, required drugs, sterile surgical instruments, and equipment items are on hand prior to beginning a procedure. Provisions for monitoring and documenting anesthesia are required. Monitoring includes checks of anesthetic depth, cardiopulmonary function, and assessment of clinical signs and conditions.

    Postsurgical Animal Care

    Postoperative monitoring of animals is the investigator’s responsibility. The investigator must make arrangements to have continuous monitoring of the patient until extubated (swallowing reflex present). Thereafter, frequent monitoring and documentation must be made to assess recovery. Investigators may contract with the LAF veterinary staff for the provision of postoperative monitoring/care. In these cases, the LAF veterinary staff will provide the monitoring and any necessary treatments for the animals. These services must be scheduled in advance to avoid charges for emergency veterinary care.

    The investigative staff must maintain complete documentation of post-procedural analgesics, antibiotics, and nursing care (Form). Particular attention should be given to thermoregulation (body temperature), cardiovascular and respiratory function (heart rate, respiratory rate, capillary refill time, pulse quality), and post-operative pain or discomfort during the recovery period. Other considerations include the need for fluid therapy based on hydration status/urine production, the need for analgesics, and wound care. All medications administered (antibiotics, analgesics, fluid therapy) should be documented and records maintained with the animal.

    Surgical Records

    Copies of each animal’s Anesthesia Record and Surgical Record Sheet must be returned to the LAF office following the post-surgical care period so they may be placed into the animal’s permanent health record maintained by the LAF.

    Equipment

    Restraint devices for rabbits and rodents
    Anesthetic monitoring equipment:

    • pulse oximeters
    • cardiac monitors
    • noninvasive blood pressure monitors

    Inhalant (isoflurane) anesthetic machines (+/- ventilators)
    Anesthetic induction boxes
    Suction
    Electrocautery
    Forced air heating units
    Circulating hot water heating pads
    Animal transport cages