Veterinary Care

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Surgical Services

To reserve veterinary facilities, investigators should contact the Center for Computational Research office at (601) 984-1385.

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.

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. CCR procedure rooms and anesthetic equipment are available and appropriate for performing rodent survival surgeries. The CCR veterinary staff is available to assist investigators with rodent anesthesia and surgical protocols.

Non-rodent survival surgery

Non-rodent survival surgeries must be conducted in IACUC-approved surgical facilities (CCR facilities or Department of Anatomy surgical facility). Appropriate surgical protocols must be included in the IACUC-approved animal activity protocol.

The CCR veterinary staff can provide anesthesia support for investigators with surgical protocols. The use of CCR surgical facilities and technical support must be scheduled through the CCR office (984-1385).

Careful preparation and coordination between the investigator and CCR veterinary staff for anesthesia/surgery will ensure uneventful and successful outcomes.

Pre-surgical planning

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

Pre-surgical fasting

Non-rodent 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 CCR utilizes pink “NPO” cards to alert the care staff not to feed the animal(s). This should be coordinated with the veterinary staff/CCR 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.

Post-surgical animal care

Post-operative 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 CCR veterinary staff for the provision of postoperative monitoring/care. In these cases, the CCR 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 CCR office following the post-surgical care period so they may be placed into the animal's permanent health record maintained by the CCR.


  • Restraint devices for rabbits and rodents
  • Anesthetic monitoring equipment:
    • Pulse oximeters
    • Cardiac monitors
    • Non-invasive 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