Aseptic Technique in Rodent Surgery : Preparation of the Animal

Key Points

  • Clip the fur from the surgical site after the animal has been anaesthetised.
  • Remove the clipped fur with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Perform this initial clipping in a separate area so that the operating area is not contaminated.
  • When clipping mice, particular care needs to be taken to avoid damaging the delicate skin.
  • Clean the skin using a suitable disinfectant, for example Chlorhexidine, either in alcohol or water
  • Avoid using too much disinfectant solution, as this can increase the risk of the animal becoming hypothermic.
  • Alcohol alone is not suitable for disinfection of the skin.
  • In both rats and mice, ointment should be applied to the eyes to prevent drying during anaesthesia.

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A comprehensive guide to help research workers apply best practice in aseptic surgical techniques in laboratory rodents.

The material was developed by Newcastle University with the support of the NC3Rs.

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research. Newcastle University

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