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BASIC BIOMETHODOLOGY FOR LABORATORY MICE
General ProceduresWe all have an ethical responsibility to animals in terms of minimizing pain and distress. This can be accomplished, in part, by using proper animal handling and experimental techniques.
If you are unfamiliar with the correct way to perform a particular procedure, you should review the appropriate module and consult your veterinarian for further training. There is a scientific responsibility in terms of performing and reporting good science, but there is also a legal responsibility.
The Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the
Animal Welfare Act require institutions to ensure that people caring for or using animals are
qualified to do so.
The following principles, described in the Guide, apply to basic biomethodology for laboratory mice: personnel caring for animals should be appropriately trained. The institution should provide for formal or on-the-job training to facilitate effective implementation of the program and humane care and use of animals.
When traveling between multiple animal housing areas, the veterinarian should be consulted for
the proper traffic pattern to avoid the possibility of cross-contamination between facilities.
There are several choices of disinfection
procedures, which include spraying down with Clidox or another similar disinfectant, ethylene
oxide sterilization, steam autoclaving or cold sterilization.
Personal Protective Equipment
In most cases, entry requirements are posted on the facility or animal room doors. If you have questions, you should contact the facility veterinarian.
Other facilities manipulate the cages on a cart or bench top and use a modified microisolator technique. In this case, the cage and the gloved hands are sprayed with disinfectant. The microisolator lid is removed and placed inverted on the bench or cart. The hands are sprayed with disinfectant again. The wire bar lid is removed and placed on the inverted microisolator top. The mice are transferred. Disinfection of the gloved hands is repeated between each cage.
Make sure the disinfectant is allowed to drain from the gloved hands so that excessive amounts
of disinfectant do not come into contact with the animal.
Assessing the General Health of Mice
Any signs of pain or distress should be reported immediately to the veterinarian, using the
reporting procedures established by the animal facility Standard Operating Procedures.
Observe the feed and water supplies to ensure that there is evidence that the animal has been eating and drinking.
Barbering may also be seen in group-housed mice of both sexes.
It is important that every animal handler be properly trained to distinguish between male and
Male mice also lack nipples.
Mice are nocturnal.
Sources: US National Institutes of Health