As stated in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, which our assurance with the federal government requires us to follow, both major as well as minor surgical procedures on laboratory animals require aseptic technique and instruments (cf. pages 61-62 of the Guide).
Therefore, please be advised that ALL survival surgeries performed on any vertebrate animal (including rodents), whether considered major (open body cavity) or minor, must employ aseptic technique. This means setting up and maintaining a sterile field and utilizing sterile technique throughout the surgery. In addition, the regulations require a dedicated area for all surgeries performed on vertebrate animals. This requirement is met by utilizing the surgery room contained within the LACF/LASC and/or, in the case of rodents, identifying a dedicated area within your laboratory for animal surgery. Exceptions to these guidelines can sometimes be made but must be fully justified and approved in advance by the IACUC.
To aid you in this goal, written surgical guidelines for rodents are provided.
Please ensure that your animal use applications specify that all recovery surgeries will be done using aseptic technique. If aseptic technique and instruments cannot be used, a scientific justification must be provided in the protocol which will be reviewed by the IACUC and approved on a case-by-case basis.
Aseptic technique includes preparation of the animal subject and the surgeon-including attire, scrub, and gloves; sterilization of instruments, supplies, and implanted materials; and the use of operative techniques to reduce the likelihood of infection. Autoclaving and gas sterilization are common effective methods. Alcohol is not a sterilant.