Cage Card Notification System
Procedure for BUMC: Laboratory Animal Science Center
Each animal room has a Problem Log posted on the door outside the room. The following types of events are recorded on the Problem Log:
- Dead animals/pups
- Sick animals
- Overcrowded cages (O/C)
- Miscellaneous problems, e.g., cage floods
The date, name of principal investigator, rack number, nature of the problem, person reporting the problem, and person addressing the problem are recorded on the log. Investigator staff can therefore find out about problems before entering the room. The Problem Log also produces a permanent written record that may help in identifying a pattern of problems (e.g., unexpected numbers of pup deaths may indicate a disease outbreak).
New Litter Cards (Pink)
These cards are placed by the LASC staff when a new litter is noted. Unless prior arrangements have been made, litters must be weaned at 21 days of age. The LASC staff makes an effort to leave cages with new litters undisturbed for the first seven days; however, excessively wet cages will still be changed.
Problem Notification Cards (Neon Green)
The cards are used to notify investigator staff of overcrowded cages. Investigator staff are responsible for correcting overcrowded cages within 48 hours. Uncorrected cages will be separated by LASC for a fee, and new cages will be marked with neon green separation stickers.
Health Problem Notification Cards (Red)
Following the veterinary examination, the veterinary staff member places a red LASC Veterinary Services examined card on the cages containing a sick animal. Veterinary staff will contact researchers by phone or email to discuss sick animals. If investigators find and sacrifice sick animals prior to their being seen by the veterinary staff, we would appreciate it if they would initial the “problem addressed by” column on the Problem Log.
(Image of red card not available.)
Animal Under Observation Cards (Blue)
These cards should be placed by the investigator staff to notify LASC that animals have had a procedure (e.g., an anesthetic episode, surgery). Blue Animal Under Observation Cards will be replaced by the veterinary staff with a RED Veterinary Examination card when an animal is being monitored or treated for a health problem.
Dead Animal Cards (Purple)
These cage cards are labeled with the date and a unique six-digit dead animal ID number. A matching Dead Animal Card with the date and dead animal ID number is placed on the bagged carcass of the dead animal. Dead animals are retained in the cold room for three to four days. If there are no live animals left in the cage, the cage cards will be placed in the Dead Animal Card folder on the door of the room.
Special Care Instruction Cards (Yellow)
Yellow Special Care Instruction Cards should be used whenever any variation of standard husbandry is needed (e.g., fasting an animal, special diet, medicated feed). The card must be filled out completely, including a start and end date.