Rodent Aseptic Technique & Surgical Training Info & Video
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RODENT ASEPTIC TECHNIQUE TRAINING INFORMATION:
It is not required to perform rodent surgery in a dedicated surgical suite, but the
surgical site must be a clean, dedicated site. The surface must be non-porous, sealed,
durable, sanitizable, and free from clutter. Disinfect surfaces prior to procedure
(give vital oxide 10 minutes of contact time), or cover the area with sterile drape.
Fasting is not necessary nor recommended for mouse and rat surgery.
-Sterile instruments (including blade if scalpel is used).
-Sterile tray or container on/in which to place instruments during surgery
-Suture and wound clips if necessary
-Bead sterilizer if more than one surgery is being performed
-Sterile or exam gloves. If animal is draped and sterile field is maintained throughout surgery, sterile gloves
required. If animal is not draped (e.g. as may occur in some mouse surgeries), then
exam gloves may be worn. However, instrument tips must be kept sterile by use of
a bead sterilizer and sterile surface on which to place instruments during surgery.
-Surgical scrub (Alcohol and betadine or chlorhexidine)
-Warming sources (one for keeping warm during surgery and a second one for recovery)
-Cautery if needed
-Clean recovery cage without bedding (soft padding recommended)
- Chamber induce with isoflurane at 3-4% (pre-medication ideal but not required; LAS
veterinary staff can consult on advantages and choice of pre-meds), or induce with
injectables IP or IV.
- Lubricate eyes.
- Connect to isoflurane circuit if necessary. Isoflurane maintenance at 1-2%. Respiratory
rate and form most important for titration of anesthesia if there is no monitoring
- Give analgesia, fluids (3-5% BW SC depending on surgical approach and duration; LAS
veterinary staff will consult), move animal to surgical prep location.
- Shave surgical site. Can use depilatory cream as well, just rinse/wipe it after applying
because it can irritate skin.
- Prep site with betadine/chlorhexidine and alcohol (use swab or gauze, start from middle
of incision and work your way towards outside, do not wet excessive amount of fur).
- Move animal to surgical location
- Place animal on heating source (e.g. temperature-controlled surface, warm water blanket,
warm fluids in bag or gloves, microwavable disc). Do not place the animal directly
on the heating source, but instead ensure there is a barrier (soft blue padding, sterile
towel, etc) between the animal and heating source.
- Rats: Most rat surgery should be able to be conducted with continuous sterile field, using
sterile gloves, surface, instruments, and drape. Contact LAS if assistance is needed
in preparing this. Mice: Most mouse surgery is difficult to perform in similar fashion, and a sterile drape
is not required, but sterile preparation of the incision site and a sterile workspace
for instruments is necessary. If mice exhibit signs of infection from surgery after
following this modified approach to sterile technique, LAS veterinary staff can consult
on methods for more stringent sterile field for mouse surgery.
- If your Animal Use Protocol states that you will use masks and/or caps during surgery,
then these must be present at the surgical site and used. Likewise for sterile gloves.
Although mask and cap are not required for sterile rat or mouse surgery, in most instances
sterile gloves and drape are required for rat surgery.
- Use toe pinch to verify that the animal is at a surgical plane of anesthesia. Veterinary
recommendation to pinch one forelimb and one hindlimb prior to initiation of surgery.
- Make your incision and proceed with surgery, with continuous monitoring of anesthesia.
- Suture your incision using separate layers for each plane of tissue you traverse (ie,
close muscle and skin in separate layers during closure. Consult veterinary staff
for information about closure techniques, suture types, etc.
- Use a bead sterilizer for all instruments between multiple procedures, and for instruments
during surgery that break sterile field: remove organic debris, insert instruments
for at least 15 seconds @ 250 C, allow time for cooling and/or apply alcohol to expedite
cooling of instruments.
- Place animal in clean cage with a soft bottom (add towels or blue pads).
- Ensure that your recovering animals are kept warm. This can be accomplished using
a heating pad on the bottom of the cage, a heat lamp directed towards the animals,
placing the animals on or between warm fluid bags, or placing the animals in an incubator.
- The animals are considered conscious when they can maintain sternal recumbency