Routine Animal Care
Rodent Breeding Information
Barcoded Cage Cards
Copyright 2009 University of Minnesota Board of Regents.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator
Animal Care Services
Before animals can be ordered the intended
use must be described in an Animal Care and Use Protocol (ACUP) Form and approved by the IACUC.
The IACUC protocol number must be provided when the order is placed.
The number of animals ordered is automatically deducted from the total
number approved. If an investigator uses up their animal quota prior
to completion of the experiment, they must seek IACUC approval for additional
animals and describe why the original number requested did not suffice.
Maintenance of Animals Associated with an
Expired IACUC Protocol
RAR will bill the cost of the animals
to a account string number provided by the investigator. The investigator is also
asked to provide a "billing name" that will appear on the animals' cage
card. Investigators may use more than one billing account if desired. However,
investigators are still responsible for using funds approved for the specific
use for which the animals were purchased.
The University's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
would like researchers who work with animals to take a moment to review
the policy regarding how animals associated with an expired IACUC protocol
will be handled. This policy can be found here.
Setting up an account
Placing the order
Orders are placed by calling the Business
Office at 612-624-6169 or by ordering online through RAR's Web-based animal
ordering system. Investigators must authorize individuals to order animals;
the order can be placed online; and the RAR business staff will process
as for phone orders. For online ordering access information view the Privacy
Policy for Research Animal Resources and Request
for Online RAR Animal Ordering Form located on the RAR Forms Page. The person placing the order will
be asked to provide the protocol number and billing account to be used
for the purchase. The name and number of a contact person for the animals
is also needed. Full details of the animal request must be provided, including
The order is confirmed and an order number
is given. This number should be used for all communications related to
that order. All animal orders are assessed an Animal Ordering Charge. A $20 cancellation fee will be invoiced if the order
is cancelled by the investigative group after RAR has placed the order
with the vendor.
Species, Strain, Sex
Age or weight
Requested housing area and housing type
(SPF, conventional, autoclaved housing)
Desired date of arrival
Any special requests, such as timed pregnancy,
specific health requirements, etc.
Order lead time
There is a specific
lead time that must be allowed for all animal purchases. These times
should be consulted when planning the experiment and prior to placing the
order. Late orders or rush orders will incur additional costs: $50 for
rodent orders, $100 for non-rodent orders.
The price of the animal may not include
shipping costs. RAR can provide an estimate of this cost at the time
the order is placed. Vendor
catalogs can provide this information as well. If animals are
obtained from other institutions the cost is normally negotiated between
the investigator and the supplier.
Dog, Cat, Nonhuman Primate Standard Charges
The final price will be vendor cost of the animal, plus vendor delivery charge, if applicable, plus a $32 Administrative Assistance Charge per animal, plus the current Animal Ordering Charge per order.
Charges for Additional Services
Our procurement specialists will work
with investigators to try to optimize the balance between cost and availability.
Rodent Orders from non-commercial vendors (eg. other universities) will
incur additional costs.
When animals are received the Business
Office staff check to make sure the shipping information matches the order
information. The animals themselves are checked
in by animal care or veterinary staff. If there is a problem the investigator
will be contacted. Once animals are housed the animal care staff will
contact the investigator to notify them that the order was received. They
will indicate the order number and the details of the order. Investigators
should verify that the order meets their requirements as credits can normally
only be arranged within the first few days of receipt.
Animal Protocol Transfers
Submitting Animal Protocol Transfer Requests - Download forms HERE
Investigators may request to have animals
transferred from one
protocol to another or to another
institution. These transfers must be approved by an RAR veterinarian
or the IACUC. Submit forms to the RAR Business Office. If the transfer
results in housing of the animal in the new area, the animal may not be
transferred until the RAR Supervisor of the recipient area has approved
Submitting Protocol Transfer Requests
Whenever an animal needs to be transferred from one protocol to another (change of investigator, move from a breeding protocol to a
research/teaching protocol, renewal of an expiring protocol, etc.) a
transfer form must be completed and submitted to Research Animal
Resources to officially track the animals and their approved use.
A frequent problem noticed by RAR is that when investigators renew a protocol (approval is for three years maximum), it is assumed that
animals housed under the old or expired protocol will be automatically
transferred to the renewal protocol. That is not the case.
Investigators must submit a protocol transfer to have animals placed
onto new protocols. In addition, the renewal protocol must have animal
numbers listed in the "Transferred" column on the Animal Request Table
or else the animals transferred from the expiring protocol will be
deducted from the number of animals that have been approved for purchase.
Investigators may request that their animals
be housed in a specific area when the order is placed. However, all requests
are subject to approval pending available space and the needs of the facility.
If there is a problem accommodating an investigator's request, the area
supervisor will contact the investigator to discuss options. An RAR veterinarian
should be consulted for information on the location and general availability
of specific types of housing.
Investigator access to facilities
Investigators are allowed unlimited access
to the facilities in which their animals are housed with the following
RAR has established animal care and room sanitation schedules that are posted in each room. RAR's needs have priority during these times.
Most facilities are locked after hours (normal animal care hours start at 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and end at 2:30 to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 7:00 a.m. until noon or later on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.)
Departments are responsible for obtaining
keys for animal facilities through Facilities Management. Keys for animal rooms are requested through the RAR Area Supervisor.
Key request forms must be signed by the RAR Area Supervisor or an RAR Veterinarian and the employees' Principal Investigator.
The access to some facilities is controlled
through U-card readers. Investigators must possess a current U-card
and must submit a request to have their card added to the access control for their housing area.
Investigators may request keys from RAR or request to be let into a facility by contacting the Business Office at 624-6169 (624-2203 or 625-5794 in St. Paul) during business hours.
Investigators may only enter nonhuman primate and SPF rodent facilities if they have received proper training.
- Because of the possibility of introducing infection into animal colonies and the potential of exposing visitors to physical, chemical, or biological hazards, no unauthorized personnel or tours are allowed in animal facilities administered by Research Animal Resources. Some exceptions to this policy may be made by the Director, e.g. site visitors, collaborative studies, conferences and visiting scientists. Children under 13 are not allowed in the animal facilities without prior approval of the Director.
- Should you observe any unauthorized person in the animal facilities contact either your supervisor, the manager or one of the veterinarians immediately.
Transport of Animals Within and Between Research Facilities on the Twin Cities campuses at the University of Minnesota
Research animals should be transported by hand or cart in covered containers that visually obscure the animals from passers by and physically contain animal wastes. Animals should not be transported on public elevators or corridors. RAR may be consulted for advice on the best routes for your needs.
RAR must be contacted for transportation of animals between disconnected buildings. The use of personally owned vehicles or public transportation to transport laboratory animals presents a risk of contamination of the vehicle and exposure of family members and other non-research personnel to pathogens. A dedicated vehicle which can be sanitized after use should be used to transport research animals. There is no charge for this service if the animals are being transferred from one RAR holding area to another RAR holding area and advance notification of 5 full business days is received. Complete the Animal Move to a Different Location form found HERE.
Transport of Animals to Other Institutions
RAR is responsible for transporting animals
to other institutions to ensure that regulatory requirements are met. These
include proper transport cages, monitoring of environmental conditions,
and preparation of health reports and other documentation. Animal transport
should be arranged with the RAR Business office by calling 4-6169.
A transfer request form
must be completed and returned to RAR.
RAR Animal Transport Services
Initial delivery of any animals to an
RAR facility where the order was placed with the
required lead time. This includes both the St. Paul and Minneapolis
A transfer coming from a RAR holding area
and going to another RAR holding area, if advance notification of 5 full business days is received. Complete the Animal Move to a Different Location form found HERE.
A canceled animal transport order if cancellation
notice is received prior to loading the animal or animals onto the truck.
When the initial animal delivery is made and the driver incurs additional time or effort beyond the designated entrance, the driver will charge assistance time. An example of an additional charge-item is delivery of the animal to the investigator's laboratory or to and from Nils Hasselmo Hall (NHH) which is a non-animal holding facility.
- There is a $20 charge if an animal order is cancelled and the driver has already loaded the animals. There is a $40 charge if an animal order is cancelled and the driver has already left the loading area. This charge will be billed through Special Services by the St. Paul supervisor.
There is an $85 charge for all transfers not providing the minimum 5 full business days’ notice. This charge will be billed through Special Services by the Business Office.
- For transport of animals to the Minneapolis VA facility, there is a fee which includes 1 hour of technical assistance. The fee must be paid by the shipping principal investigator, not the VA. This charge will be billed through Special Services by the St. Paul supervisor.
- For transport of animals from the Minneapolis VA facility, there is a fee which includes the current Animal Order Charge (AOC), 1 hour technical assistance for pickup/delivery, 1 hour business office assistance time, and a charge for the facility health review by a veterinarian. These charges will be billed by the Business Office on the Request for Animal Purchase. .
PER DIEM CHARGES
RAR recovers the cost of the administration, animal care services, facility maintenance, and monitoring activities through an assessment of per diem rates for various species. These per diem charges are reviewed and revised annually. Per diem rates are based upon principles in the Cost Analysis and Rate Setting Manual for Animal Resource Facilities sponsored by the Division of Research Resources, National Institutes of Health. Per diem rates incorporate costs of animal care as well as unique costs associated with specialized husbandry, such as in quarantine or hazard containment (Biosafety Level-2) facilities for infectious agents or hazardous chemicals.
Barcoded Cage Cards
Barcoded cage cards and the automatic per diem
RAR has implemented a system of automatic
per diem billing for research and teaching animals. It is based on the
University Store's demurrage system - daily charges begin automatically
upon receipt of the animal and continue until the billing unit (cage, animal,
etc.) is actively discontinued. When an animal order is received by the
Business Office, cage cards with barcoded information containing the PI
name, budget, species, housing, and per diem rate are automatically generated.
Animal rooms are regularly scanned to verify the automatic census and billing.
Investigators can deactivate a billing unit by placing the barcoded cage
card in an Area Out Box.
Research Team Responsibilities:
Your per diem bill will be charged to
the designated budget twice a month. And this information will be available
the next business day in the Data Warehouse: http://www.umreports.umn.edu
The bill can be located by account string
number or by IV transaction number.
Keeps an up to date inventory of your
animals and their charges.
Returning the Cage Cards to RAR:
Cage cards must be returned to RAR to
turn off the per diem billing.
Research Teams will be responsible for
barcoding their cage cards in the event of Breeding expansion or Separation
of cage occupants.
There is an "Out Box" for all cage cards
in each animal holding facility
The Out Box is emptied daily and returned
to the RAR business office.
The day the barcoded card is placed in
the Out Box will be the last day of billing charges.
All new animals coming in from vendors
will have bar codes on their cage cards.
Applicable for Breeding Animals and Timed
Two part Card- One goes on the new cage
the other gets dated and returned to the business office by placement in
the Out Box.
These will be pre-printed for your convenience.
Euthanasia or Raptor Cards:
These are used if rodents need to be separated
into more cages for any reason
Two part card: one goes on cage the other
returned to business office by placement in the Out Box. A new bar coded
card will be routed to you through the Area Supervisor.
No you will not be billed forever if you
don't return the cage card:
If you decide to have our staff Euthanize
or Raptor your animals, you can use these cards available in the card box
in each room.
Fill out the Card, and place on cage then
put the original cage card in the Out Box and RAR will take care of the
If you lose the cage card, you will not
be billed forever.
- On a biweekly basis RAR will
scan the cards to validate animal inventories. If your card is not
scanned twice in a row, the per diem billing will be turned off
retroactively to the first no-scan.
Routine Animal Care
Animal care staff and Supervisors
Animal facilities are staffed with trained
laboratory animal care staff. Each group of technicians is supervised
by a Laboratory Animal Technician Specialist (Area Supervisor) with specific
training and/or many years of experience in the care of laboratory animals.
Supervisors assign specific responsibilities to animal care personnel to
provide routine husbandry and care for animals.
Standard RAR procedures are detailed in
the Procedures of Animal Care Manual. Routine care includes:
Feeding standard diets and providing fresh
Changing cages and bedding
Sanitizing rooms, cages, racks, water
bottles and other equipment
Observing animals and reporting on animals'
condition to veterinary staff
Removing dead animals from cages; identifying and placing them in carcass coolers; and notifying the research staff.
Animal housing conditions are specified
in great detail in the USDA
Animal Welfare Act Regulations and in the Guide
for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. RAR's animal care program
is designed to ensure that these standards are met. Special housing or
feeding requests must be arranged with the RAR Area Supervisor. If these
requests do not comply with regulatory housing standards they must be approved
by the IACUC. A summary of housing requirements is available here.
The main issues for animal housing include:
Monitoring- animals must be monitored
daily for adequate environmental conditions and general health
Facilities- facility construction,
ventilation, lighting and sanitation must meet regulatory standards
Housing- cages must be appropriately
constructed, sizes must be appropriate to the needs of the animals, cages
must be sanitized at appropriate intervals, adequate socialization and
environmental enrichment must be provided
Food and Water- must be of adequate
quality and provided at appropriate intervals
Special Diets / Water - Animals on special diets or additives in the drinking water that are given by the research staff instead of RAR employees, the feed, water and supplies must be maintained on an ongoing basis. If animal cages are observed without sufficient supply of the special diet or water or if RAR cannot determine when the animals were last fed or watered, RAR employees will try to contact the research staff. If the research staff cannot be contacted within a reasonable amount of time ("reasonable amount of time" varies with the species involved), RAR employees will provide standard food and water to the animals. This applies equally to cages or pens which have been marked by the research staff as "do not feed (or water)" or "investigator will feed (or water)". If you have questions about this, please contact your Area Veterinarian to discuss your concerns.
Animals must be identified at all times.
Cage cards or room postings must include
the following information:
Dogs and cats must have permanent identification
such as a collar and tag or a tattoo and have a cage card
Other larger animals typically have ear
tags, tattoos or other individual identifiers and have a cage card
Rodents, rabbits and non-mammals may be identified at the room level if all identification information is identical for all animals in the room, at the cage level (cage card) or at the individual level (ear tags, tattoos, ear punches, etc.)
- Toe clipping is not acceptable without justification to, and approval from, the IACUC.
Review the IACUC guidelines and the NIH intramural policy on toe clipping for more information.
IACUC Policy on Identification
of Animals Used in Research or Teaching Activities
RAR provides all required identification
for animals when they arrive in the facility, including cage cards, ear
tags for large animals and ID tags for dogs and cats. Additional identification
such as tattooing can be provided as a special
IACUC protocol number
Investigator name, department, billing
account and phone number
Animal species, strain, sex, age, date
of birth, date of arrival
Special Cage Cards: RAR uses colored and printer stock cards to flag animal cages in need of special monitoring or attention by either the animal care or research staff. Information about those cards can be found here.
RAR can provide breeding services for
investigators. This includes mating, weaning and separation of sibs. RAR
will maintain breeding records as requested by the investigator and will
follow whatever breeding scheme that is requested. Investigators are billed
for the technician's time. Requests should be made to the area supervisor. Additional information on breeding rats and mice can be found HERE.
Exercise and Enrichment
Information about the RAR Enrichment Programs are outlined below and also can be found HERE. Note: Housing of social animals in pairs or groups is routine. Please review the IACUC Guidelines on Social Housing. If you need an exception to social housing, contact the IACUC at email@example.com.
RAR has enrichment procedures for most
species of animals under its care. The primary aim of environmental enrichment is to enhance animal well-being by providing animals with sensory and motor stimulation, through structures and resources that facilitate the expression of species-typical behaviors and promote psychological well-being through physical exercise, manipulative activities, and cognitive challenges according to species-specific characteristics. Investigators are expected
to cooperate with these programs unless there are experiment-related reasons
animals cannot participate. Exemptions may only be granted by an RAR veterinarian
or the IACUC.
Dogs and cats
Enrichment can include group housing or other opportunities to socialize such as visual, tactile or olfactory contact with other animals, human interaction, exercise opportunities, nesting material, digging or chewing substrates, food enrichment or other activities that result in a positive psychological state for the animals.
Dogs and cats are normally provided exercise
outside of their cages in same sex compatible groups on a daily basis for
at least 15 minutes during normal work days. There are some exceptions
to this general rule. Animals in the post-operative care program, animals
that are ill or animals on which procedures have been performed for which
exercise is contraindicated (e.g. cardiovascular or orthopedic procedures)
are normally exempted. Aggressive animals will not be released for exercise
with other animals. Exemptions are normally noted on the cage card and
are also maintained in a log by RAR. Animals less than 12 weeks of age
may not be exercised with adult animals other than their parents. If animals
are housed in a pen with at lease twice the required floor space, or if
they are group housed, they will only be exercised daily if time permits.
At a minimum they will be exercised 3 days per week for 20 minutes.
The following requirements apply to
all dogs exercised at all RAR facilities:
When possible, dogs will be exercised
in compatible groups to provide social interaction. Such groups will include
only one sex at a time. A member of RAR staff will be present during group
exercise to verify animal compatibility and provide additional information.
All dogs will wear identification collars
during all exercise periods, or they will carry permanent identification.
When procedures are planned in conflict
with the exercise schedule, it will be the responsibility of the principal
investigator to notify RAR so that the dog is available and/or rested.
Requests for exemption from exercise will be handled through the RAR veterinarian
in a similar manner.
Exercise is to be documented for all dogs
not housed in pairs or runs. A notation of exercise dates will be made
on the census sheet for each room.
Nonhuman primates have extremely complex
social and foraging behaviors. They require significantly more enrichment
than other species. RAR's enrichment program consists of the following
- Housing of nonhuman primates in social settings (pairs or groups) is required by the USDA and the NIH's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. Requests for single housing exception must be in the ACUP, based on strong scientific justification, and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
- Opportunities for social interaction may also include visual contact with other nonhuman
primates and socialization with the animal care staff and veterinary
Provision of: a) Foraging opportunities, such as provision of special "food treats", use of puzzle feeders and foraging boards; b)
Environmental manipulanda, such as toys, chew sticks, perches, swings and an exercise cage; and c)
Visual and auditory stimuli through videos and television
Enrichment procedures are varied regularly
with nonhuman primates to ensure that the activity is novel. Investigators
are encouraged to participate in the enrichment program. However, they
should consult with the veterinary staff to ensure that efforts are coordinated
and that animals do not receive articles that may be dangerous or excessive
amounts of "treats" that could interfere with their normal diet.
Rodents, Rabbits, Nonmammals
Enrichment for rodents is provided through
use of contact bedding and nesting material (provides for normal burrowing
and exploratory behaviors) and social housing. Rodents may not be housed
on wire-bottom cages if they have litters or if their weight exceeds
600 g. This is to protect them from foot lesions and hypothermia, as well
as to provide enrichment. Food treats may be provided to rodents providing
they do not significantly reduce the consumption of the normal diet.
Enrichment for rabbits consists of
providing them with various "toys" and food treats such as fresh produce
and shredded wheat.
Chinchillas are provided with a "dust bath" once weekly which allows for the normal expression of rolling behavior and serves as a grooming aid.
While there are no specific enrichment
programs for non-mammals, group housing, use of perches and provision of
nesting or hiding places are all husbandry practices that can enhance the
animals living environment.
Use of RAR facilities
RAR animal rooms are primarily intended
for animal housing. Certain minor procedures may be performed in the rooms,
such as injections, blood collection and weighing. Surgery or post-mortem
examination may not be performed in the animal rooms to prevent stress
to the other animals. Any procedures performed in the animal rooms must
be scheduled around RAR's daily care activities.
Many RAR facilities have associated
procedure rooms. These rooms must be scheduled by investigators, usually
through a sign-up sheet on the room door. There is no charge for the use
of these rooms.
RAR does not provide storage area in
housing or procedure rooms. Investigators should bring a cart or box with
needed equipment and supplies to the anima use area.
RAR performs basic room cleaning procedures
once a day. Investigators are responsible for cleaning up after they have
worked in an RAR room. If rooms are not cleaned RAR will clean them and
bill the investigator for their time.
Removal of animals to laboratories
Investigators may transport animals within
the same general area; transport between major facilities (e.g. Minneapolis
to St. Paul, from the Health Center complex to satellite areas, movement of large animals)
should be performed or supervised by RAR.
Animals may only be removed to laboratories
for periods of less than 12 hours for USDA regulated species (hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, etc.) or for less than 24 hours for rats, mice, amphibians, fish, etc.). If animals are to be held for
longer times investigators must have special permission granted from the
with justification for housing the animals in the laboratory.
A description of the care and monitoring of the animals must be provided.
Food and water must be available to
the animals when they are maintained in a laboratory and animals must be
Care must be taken to prevent escape
of animals during transport and contamination of personnel with animal
or experimental hazards. Therefore, the animals must be transported in
The cage should be filter
covered if hazardous agents are present in the animal, food or bedding.
Public corridors should be avoided
flow guidelines should be observed to prevent rodent disease contamination.
In most cases animals are euthanized at
the end of their studies. If animals are not euthanized, the final disposition
must be indicated in the Animal Usage Form. Euthanasia must be performed
using methods approved by the IACUC.
RAR will euthanize rodents at no charge for investigators; euthanasia of non-rodents will be charged time and materials. These euthanasias are performed on RAR's schedule. If investigators wish to schedule euthanasia for a specific time and/or wish to be present to collect tissues or other experimental data, RAR will charge for that as a veterinary
special service. RAR provides carbon dioxide euthanasia chambers
in most of its animal facilities. Investigators should be familiar
with the use
of these chambers.
Animals that have died or are euthanized
and are to be disposed of must be placed in a sealed plastic bag or glove
and then placed in the red bag within the red biohazard container located
in the animal morgue coolers. Do not place animal tissues or
other full biohazard bags in the red barrels left outside of the
cooler. Place your bags in the barrels kept inside the cooler. Do not
put bags on the floor of the cooler. All bags and tissues must be
placed in a red plastic barrel lined with a biohazard bag. There is a 50 pound limit on how much can
be placed in these containers. Larger animals must be sectioned. It is
essential that all animals be carefully examined to determine that they
are dead prior to placing in the bag. Animals euthanized with ether must
be kept in a fume hood for 30 min to evaporate the ether before they are
placed in the morgues to prevent ethafume explosions.
Please also note that the death of
any dog or cat must be reported to the RAR office (624-6169) for Federal
record keeping purposes. Death of primates, pigs and sheep should be reported
to Post-op at 625-0904.
If RAR finds a dead animal, the investigator
will be notified. The animal death is recorded on the cage card. The bag
will be marked and placed in the "save" side of the cooler. Saved carcasses
are held for 48 hours and are disposed of if not claimed by the investigator.
Please also refer to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety's Infectious Waste Disposal Table for carcass disposal procedures.
All requests for special services must be arranged
directly with RAR. Normally, housing and feeding requests are arranged
with the area supervisor. Euthanasia is arranged with the Business Office
as described above. Medical procedures are
arranged with the area veterinary technician.
Top of page
RAR can identify animals for investigators
by tattooing, ear punching or ear tagging. This is billed as a veterinary
Tattooing may cause more than momentary pain or distress, depending on the species of animal and the method(s) used to restrain and tattoo the animal. An investigator's planned tattooing method should be outlined in the applicable IACUC protocol, as anesthesia may be required.
Special diets or watering requests can
be provided by RAR. Charges for alternate nutritional diets are pro-rated
with the cost of RAR's "standard" diet subtracted from the special diet
cost and a 35% handling fee assessed. Research diets are not prorated.
If investigators request a drug or compound be added to the drinking water
investigators are billed the cost of the drug plus the technician's time
in preparing the water.
When animals are on special diets or additives to the drinking water
that are given by the research staff instead of RAR employees, the feed,
water and supplies must be maintained on an ongoing basis. If animal
cages are observed without sufficient supply of the special diet or
water or if RAR cannot determine when the animals were last fed or
watered, RAR employees will try to contact the research staff. If the
research staff cannot be contacted within a reasonable amount of time,
RAR employees will provide standard food and water to the animals.
Investigators are billed for time and
materials for special husbandry requests.
If investigators require their own
room and a room is available they will be charged a minimum room charge
equal to 60% of the per diems collected if the room were full.
Additional charges for cage sanitation
are incurred if investigators require a higher than normal frequency of
cage changing, use metabolic equipment or other specialized caging, or
if the equipment being sanitized is not RAR's inventory. This is billed
at the hourly rate listed above.
RAR will fast animals prior to anesthesia
if requested by investigators. There is no charge for this service. Investigators
must post the room or cage with a fast request sign that indicates the
animal ID, the investigator name and contact phone, the date and time the
fast is to begin and the date the anesthesia will be performed. If anesthesia
is not performed on the scheduled date, the animal must be given at least
one meal before another fast request can be placed. Placing
a fast sign on the cage is the responsibility of the group and must be
placed the day before the procedure no later than 2 pm M-F. If the
fasting sign is placed after 2 pm, it is the responsibility of the group
to remove the remaining food from the cage. For fasting an animal on a weekend or holiday, the group must speak to the Area Supervisor, Veterinarian, or Veterinary Technician about the plan for fasting no later than 2 pm on the prior business day. Leaving a voice mail or sending an email is not adequate notification unless an acknowledgment is received.
Fasting = removing food containers.
Water is not removed unless specifically requested. Loose food in
the bottom of nonhuman primate cages is not removed.
Rodents, rabbits and other small herbivores do not need to be fasted. Mice, rats, and rabbits cannot vomit.
The ideal pre-surgical
fast is 5 to 8 hours long (i.e. overnight).
Dogs, cats and nonhuman
primates may be fasted for up to 24 hours.
Ruminants (sheep, goats, calves) may be
fasted for up to 48 hours
Neonates should never be fasted
animals (dogs and cats less than 4 months, pigs less than 2 months, monkeys
less than 2 years) should not be fasted more than 4 hours..
Fasts longer than 48 hours for ruminants
or 24 hours for all other large animals must be approved by the IACUC.
If the animal is group housed, it must
be separated for fasting, unless the fast is 12 hours or less (overnight).
Fast signs with incomplete information
will NOT be honored. In fact, our staff is instructed to always
feed and water animals unless complete and specific instructions for fasting
The information contained in this site is intended as
a reference for University of Minnesota investigators, and animal husbandry
and veterinary staff. Drug information and dosages are derived from a variety
of sources and do not necessarily guarantee safety or efficacy. Information
obtained through this site should not be relied upon as professional veterinary
advice. Any medications administered or procedures performed on animals
should only be performed by or under order of a qualified, licensed veterinarian.