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Documentation of Post-procedure and Post-surgical Monitoring

Purpose

The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the federal Animal Welfare Act require monitoring of animals subsequent to procedures, including surgical procedures, to which animals are subjected.

Appropriate monitoring criteria must be chosen based on consideration of the procedure(s) being performed, the expected and possible adverse effects animals may experience, the expected time course and progression of adverse effects, and the earliest predictive indicators of adverse effects.

It is essential that properly qualified personnel monitor the animals at appropriate intervals to ensure adequate observation and care of the animals. Optimally, studies should be terminated when animals begin to exhibit adverse clinical signs, if this endpoint is compatible with meeting research objectives, since such endpoints minimize pain or distress.

The IACUC is requiring different monitoring procedures that are predicated upon the type of species being used.

Action

USDA-Regulated Species (all animals other than mice, rats, fish, frogs, and birds)

All monitoring of regulated species must be documented in the animal record that is kept with the animals. At a minimum, the monitoring must consist of:

  • Date of monitoring
  • Time of monitoring
  • Initials of personnel who performed the monitoring
  • The condition of the animals

Non USDA-Regulated Species (mice, rats, birds, and cold-blooded vertebrates)

All monitoring of non-regulated species must have written documentation. As most of these animals do not have individual animal records, the requirement for monitoring is more general. Monitoring can be written on the animals’ cage card(s), in a laboratory notebook, in a computer spreadsheet (e.g., Excel), or any other written documentation system that the PI chooses to use. At a minimum, the monitoring must consist of:

  • Date of monitoring
  • Time of monitoring
  • Initials of personnel who performed the monitoring
  • The condition of the animals

All animals must be monitored in accordance with the monitoring for each procedure being performed described in the animal care and use protocol. Each protocol will state the parameters being evaluated, the frequency of monitoring, and the length of monitoring for every procedure described in the animal care and use protocol. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure that the post-procedure and post-surgical monitoring is being performed as described in the animal care and use protocol.

References

  1. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, National Academy Press, 2011.
  2. 9 CFR Chapter 1 – Animal Welfare Regulations, 2013.
  3. PHS Policy on the Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, OLAW, 2015.
  4. Animal Care Resource Guide, USDA, 2000.

Effective Dates: June 28, 2018 through May 31, 2021