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California State University, Long Beach
Office of University Research
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Policy on Rodent Control

Survival Surgery is one from which the animal regains consciousness, even if only momentarily.

A Non-Survival Surgery is one from which the animal never regains consciousness as it is euthanatized while deeply anesthetized.

A Rodent Surgical Area (used for either survival or non-survival surgery) may be a room or portion of a room that is easily sanitized; it must be maintained and operated to ensure cleanliness. It should not be used for any other purposes.

All surgical procedures must be performed or directly supervised by trained and experienced personnel in accordance with sound surgical practices. In all cases this involves:

  • Appropriate anesthesia.

Specifically in Survival Surgical situations this involves (in addition to the above):

  • Appropriate preparation of the surgical field (removal of hair and application of a betadine prep).
  • Use of sterile instruments (cold sterilization is acceptable). Note: Alcohol is not a sterilizing medium.
  • Wearing of sterile surgical gloves.
  • Use of aseptic techniques.

Multiple survival surgical procedures on a single animal are discouraged, and will not be permitted without prior IACUC approval. IACUC approval may be given if the multiple procedures are related components of a research protocol.

Post-surgical care must include observing the animal to ensure uneventful recovery from anesthesia and surgery accompanied by attention to wound care. The use of analgesics may be indicated and must be considered for procedures resulting in pain or distress. Animals that would otherwise suffer sever or chronic pain or distress that cannot be relieved must be euthanatized at the end of the procedure, or if appropriate, during the procedure. Euthanasia must be performed by trained and experienced personnel, using acceptable techniques in accordance with the recommendations of the "AVMA Panel on Euthanasia" as approved by the IACUC.

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