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Frequently Asked Questions

Veterinary Care



Where can I find current emergency/on-call information?
Phone numbers and instructions for assistance with veterinary emergencies can be found at the common exits of Finger Barns 1,2,4,5, F-section Vivarium and the Research Building Vivarium. Posters are also found next to common facility telephones and in treatment rooms. FB 3 animal housing rooms display the posters in airlocks for individual rooms. Information may also be found on the LAR website under the Veterinary Care Program.

What should I do if one of my animals is sick?
During regular work hours –
- Contact the LAR Veterinary Assistant at 513-6831 and follow the voicemail instructions if no one answers.
- If you do not get a response within 30 minutes or you have an emergency, call the LAR office at 513-2931 and a member of the veterinary staff will be located to assist you.
After hours, weekends and holidays –
- Call the LAR emergency line at 513-6656 and follow the directions to contact the LAR veterinarian on call.

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What's the sentinel program?
Each rack of rodents that remain in-house longer than 1 month have assigned sentinel animals located on the rack to monitor for infectious disease. In most cases, sentinels are animals of the same species that are exposed to dirty bedding taken from study animal cages, and tested for presence of either infectious disease agents (usually by PCR) or antibodies to those agents (usually by Multiplex Fluorescent Immunoassay). PIs are notified directly with results of the quarterly screening.

How does LAR handle clinical cases?
(For emergencies, see additional FAQs.)
When a clinical abnormality is reported to the LAR Veterinary Service –
- The animal is evaluated by a member of the veterinary staff.
- The Investigator and/or his designee (based on the emergency contact sheet on file) will be contacted and presented with the findings, assessment and plan of action for the case.
- If the Investigator cannot be reached within a reasonable period of time, a decision will be made to observe, treat or euthanize the animal taking into consideration what is in the best interest of the animal's welfare, prognosis for recovery, effect on research model and what is documented and approved in the AVAU.
- Please see SOP/Policy on Veterinary Care
- Reasonable diagnostic costs will be covered by LAR except for cases that are clearly the result of the research procedures.

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Does LAR handle all clinical cases?
Medical cases in LAR areas are usually managed by LAR veterinary staff, but alternate arrangements can be made in consultation with the LAR Assistant Director. (See also FAQ on Medical Records requirements.) LAR will triage all reported cases and report to the research team with a course of action plan. The Research Team may choose to collect samples and provide treatment after a treatment plan has been agreed upon between the LAR veterinarian and Investigator.

Who is responsible for postoperative or postanesthetic care?
All postprocedural care and record keeping are the responsibility of the PI, unless CPL or LAR personnel are contracted to provide this service. (See here and other FAQs for details of these services.)

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What paperwork is required for animals that have undergone sedation, anesthesia, or surgery?
Record-keeping for procedures involving sedation, anesthesia, and/or surgery are dependent upon the species and are described in the IACUC policy on “Intra- and Postoperative Monitoring and Required Record Keeping for Surgery and Anesthesia” . Please note that some rodents (e.g., woodchucks, hamsters, gerbils, voles) are USDA-regulated species that in some cases need records in accordance with the NCSU Non-Rodent Mammal requirements. Please contact the LAR Assistant Director for more information.
IN ADDITION:Paperwork should follow the animal until postprocedural observations are completed. This informs both animal care and veterinary staff as to how the animal was used, and explains any abnormal behavior or post-procedural complications (e.g., hematoma, bruising) and treatments. Records are usually kept on a clipboard in or near the animal room, but please discuss specific arrangements with the LAR Unit Supervisor. The Supervisor will forward the paperwork to the LAR Veterinary Assistant when postprocedural observations are completed.

Who should maintain medical records other than those associated with sedation, anesthesia and surgery (e.g., spontaneous illness or injury)?
Medical records must be maintained according to NCSU policy. Medical cases in LAR areas are usually managed by LAR veterinary staff, but alternate arrangements can be made in consultation with the LAR Assistant Director. It is important that all medical cases have a clearly identified clinician in charge, and that all cases have a final entry indicating case resolution. Medical records are maintained in a central file by the LAR Veterinary Assistant, unless other specific arrangements are made.

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