Critical Care Management for Laboratory Mice and Rats
17 Apr 2014

An Overview of Rodent Medicine

For critical care of laboratory rodents, there is a scarcity of sources that provide comprehensive, feasible, and response-oriented information about clinical interventions specific to spontaneous and induced models of disease. Critical care monitoring for small rodent patients is notoriously challenging, complicated further by physiologic idiosyncracies and limitations on applicable treatments and interventions."5,8,9 This textbook is the first of its kind devoted to the challenges of critical care management for laboratory mice and rats. This text was designed to serve as a specialized resource for all persons and professionals that utilize rodent models for biomedical research. The information herein emphasizes the varied approaches to laboratory rodent patient care, health assessments, characteristics of specific disease models, monitoring disease parameters, and humane interventions. Although preservation of animal health and welfare is of primary consideration, achievement of proposed research objectives should also be prioritized. Oversight by veterinary specialists, in collaboration with scientific investigators, should ensure that all procedures for disease prevention, diagnosis, and therapy are those currently accepted in veterinary and laboratory animal practice.13

Guidance and recommendations for clinical treatments are rarely uniform across the entire profession. The majority of dosages and treatments in this book are derived from published abstracts presented at National American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) conferences (dating from the year 2000 to 2012), journal articles, and personal consultation and experience. Many treatment modalities are based on anecdotal information, pilot work, and empirical evidence. In the spirit of incorporating continued refinements into laboratory animal practice, these treatment guidelines may be modified further for additional clinical support and improved patient-based care for research animals.

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