The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide, NRC 2011) states: Medical records are a key element of the veterinary care program and are considered critical for documenting animal well-being as well as tracking animal care and use at a facility. (p. 115). Identification cards should include the source of the animal, the strain or stock, names and contact information for the responsible investigator(s), pertinent dates (e.g., arrival date, birth date, etc.), and protocol number when applicable. (p. 75)
The IACUC recommends that Principal Investigators keep procedural notes on individual animals, and have them readily available for the DLAR staff and veterinarians, Department of Research Compliance, as well as the IACUC.
Cage cards/Identification cards:
1. All cage cards must include:
a. Source of the animal
c. Pertinent dates (e.g. arrival date, birth date, wean date)
d. Protocol number
e. PI name
f. Hazard sticker(s), when appropriate
i. Identity of hazard administered and date
2. DLAR maintains contact information for the investigators and laboratory staff at each building, thus contact information does not need to be listed on the cage card.
3. A new cage card must be created for each new cage. Cage cards cannot be re-used as the original information on the card will be inaccurate for the new cage/mice.
4. Multiple cage cards can be used on one cage in some instances (e.g. breeding); however, animals from multiple protocols cannot be housed in the same cage.
5. Animals cannot be housed on campus without an identification card associated with the cage/pen/run with the appropriate information listed.
6. For some species (zebrafish), it may be appropriate to have the Identification information posted at the room or rack level.
1. Records must be immediately available upon request by the IACUC or veterinary staff. It is recommended that the records be kept in immediate proximity of the animals.
2. Each animal under observation or treatment will be identified such that care for individual animals can be documented.
3. All approved animal procedures (e.g. injections, gavage, tumor induction, blood collection, genotyping, surgery) must be documented on cage cards or charts in the animal rooms with the date(s) that it was performed.
4. Records will document administration of all medications and treatments given to animals, including those given to reduce pain or stress.
5. Each entry in the records will include a signature or the initials of the person making the observation or treatment and the date.
6. Records must include required monitoring and/or scoring systems outlined in protocols to assess animal wellbeing and/or euthanasia criteria.
7. Surgical procedure must be briefly stated/described, date of surgery, doses of anesthetics and analgesics used with time and date of administration, results of post-operative monitoring, and notes on any adverse events or other comments on the procedure itself.
a. Daily postoperative medical records of the animal will be maintained, including an evaluation of overall health, a description of any complications noted, and the removal of sutures, staples, wound clips, or other such devices.
b. As a minimum, daily post-surgery records will cover the postoperative period (7-10 days and/or until wound closure material is removed).
*Adopted from the VAMC "ANIMAL COMPONENT OF RESEARCH PROTOCOL (ACORP)" form.
Approved; December 2012
Revisions Approved: 6/2015, 10/2017, 10/2019