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Author: Lara A. Weaver, D.V.M.
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OCW Zoological Medicine 2008
Laboratory Small Mammal Medicine (2008)
L. Weaver, DVM
Cummings School of Medicine at Tufts University

1. Learning Objectives and Review

1.1. Learning Objectives

This chapter will review the most common health issues associated with small mammal species in a research setting. In addition to the list below, color coded topics indicate the learning objectives that the student should become familiar with. Cases will be presented in class to illustrate these topics. Students should focus on the following:

  • Be familiar with the use of rodents as animal models in the research setting

  • Understand the impact of infectious disease agents on research outcomes

1.2. Review and Resources

Please review relevant material from 1st year Comparative anatomy before attending these lectures. Additional material can be found in

  • A Colour Atlas of the Anatomy of Small Laboratory Animals: Rabbit Guinea Pig by Peter Popesko, et al. available in the Wildlife Library (not for circulation).

An excellent review of the diseases of laboratory animals can be found at: Baker, David G. Natural pathogens of laboratory mice, rats, and rabbits and their effects on research. Clinical Microbiology Reviews , vol. 11 (2), April 1998:231-266.

There is also an on-line book on the IVIS website: Laboratory Animal Medicine and Management edited by J.D. Reuter and M.A.Suckow.

An excellent CD-ROM for your review is: ACLAM Lab Animal Medicine and Science Series II.

2. Guinea Pigs

(Portions of this material were reprinted from the ACLAM Lab Animal Medicine and Science Series II CD-Rom)

2.1. Stocks/strains available

Genus, species: Cavia porcellus

  • Outbred stocks include the Hartley, also known as the Dunkin-Hartley, an outbred shorthair albino; the NIH Outbred, a multi-colored guinea pig; and the hairless, euthymic guinea pig.

  • Inbred strains: Although a considerable amount of research was conducted in the past using inbred strains, only two inbred strains are readily available today: Strain 2 and Strain 13

2.2. Use in research

  • Attributes of the guinea pig that make them a desirable research animal include their tractable disposition and their size, which is convenient for many procedures. They are readily available, relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain.

  • Guinea pigs have anatomical and physiological features that make them excellent models for specific studies. Guinea pigs and humans share several features, including a need for dietary vitamin C, similar placentation and hormonal control of pregnancy, delayed hypersensitivity reactions, and susceptibility to tuberculosis.

  • Other research uses of the guinea pig include immunological studies, for which they are a source of serum complement; auditory research; teratology and toxicity research; and gnotobiotic research. The guinea pig is also being used as a model for spontaneous diabetes mellitus, Complement 4 deficiency and cryptosporidiosis.

  • Guinea pig features that may make them undesirable for research include higher maintenance costs than smaller rodents and the fact that only a few inbred strains are available. Also, blood collection and intravenous injections are difficult in guinea pigs due to lack of easily accessible peripheral veins, and they have a relatively high susceptibility to infection.

2.3. Noninfectious diseases

The noninfectious diseases seen in the laboratory setting are similar to those seen in the pet population (see previous chapter).

2.4. Infectious diseases

  • Bacterial: Bordetella, Strep. pneumoniae, Strep. zooepidemicus, Clostridium piliforme, Salmonella. Mastitis (Pasteurella, Staph spp., Strep spp., Klebsiella)

  • Viral/Chlamydial: Chlamydia psittaci (conjunctivitis), Cytomegalovirus (esp. with stress or immunosuppression), Oncornavirus - type C (leukemia in aging g. pigs), Adenovirus

    • G. pigs may have antibody titers to paramyxoviruses of concern in mice such as Sendai and Pneumonia virus of mice so it is important that species be separated in the research setting.

  • Parasites

    • Ectoparasites - similar to pet population though extremely uncommon in most research facilities.

    • Endoparasites: Eimeria caviae, Balantidium caviae, Tritrichomonas, Giardia (zoonotic)

3. Chinchillas

3.1. Stocks/strains available

Genus, species: Chinchilla laniger

Currently, outbred chinchillas for use in research are available from 2 sources in the U.S.

3.2. Uses in research

Because of their large bullae and resistance to middle ear infections chinchillas are primarily used in auditory research including hearing and otitis media research. They have also been used to study Chagas disease, atherosclerosis, digestion, thermoregulation, cerebral blood flow and reproduction and behavior.

3.3. Non-infectious/Infectious Diseases

The types of non-infectious and infectious diseases seen in the research setting are similar to those seen in the pet population; however, most infectious diseases are very rare in this setting.

4. Hamsters

(Portions of this material were reprinted from the ACLAM Lab Animal Medicine and Science Series II CD-Rom )

4.1. Stocks/strains available

Genus, species: Mesocricetus auratus (Syrian or golden hamster), Cricetulus griseus (Chinese hamster), Cricetulus migratorius (Armenian hamster), Cricetus cricetus (European hamster)

Of the species mentioned above, the Syrian hamster is the predominant one used in research. Most of the hamsters used in research are outbred stocks used in cancer research, infectious disease research, and behavioral studies. Inbred strains of hamsters have been developed for specific research use, including immunogenetics and genetic models of human diseases.

4.2. Use in Research

There are several reasons why the Syrian hamster is used in research. First of all, there is the availability and ease of reproduction of the Syrian hamster; second, their relative freedom from naturally acquired disease; third, their susceptibility to many pathogens; fourth, their unique anatomic and physiologic features; and fifth, their rapid development and short life cycle [Van Hoosier, G. L., Jr., and W. C. Ladiges. 1984. Biology and diseases of hamsters , p. 124-148. In J. G. Fox, B. J. Cohen, and F. M. Loew (ed.), Laboratory animal medicine . Academic Press, Inc., Orlando, Fla.].

Cheek pouch - A unique feature of Syrian hamsters is the well-developed pair of buccal or cheek pouches beneath the skin on the lateral sides of the head. The pouches are used to carry food and nesting material. They also provide an easily accessible site for tumor transplantation and induction. The cheek pouches have been termed immunologically privileged sites because tumors can be transplanted or induced and not readily rejected by the hamster's immune system. The reason for this unique property is poorly understood. It has been attributed to inadequate lymphocytic drainage; however, there are lymph vessels present in the cheek pouches [Biven, W. S., G. A. Olsen, and K. A. Murray. 1987. Morphophysiology, p.10-42. In G. L. Van Hoosier, Jr., and C. W. McPherson (ed.), Laboratory hamsters. Academic Press, Inc., Orlando, Fla.]. The composition of the connective tissue of the pouches is believed to play a role in tumor maintenance.

Immunobiology - Another area of research in which hamsters have made valuable contributions is immunobiology. The neonatal hamster is immunologically immature when compared to other rodents. Its thymus at birth is at the same stage of development as that of a 16-day-old mouse embryo. Syrian hamsters lack suppressor T cells, and the cytotoxic T cells are atypical. Syrian hamsters have a greater degree of similarity in the genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) than do other rodents. Skin grafts can be accepted among hamsters that are not of the same inbred strain, unlike rats and mice. In the Syrian hamster, class 1 genes of the MHC and the molecules they code are functionally monomorphic, unlike other mammals. These immunologic characteristics make the hamster an important model in the early detection and rejection of tumor cells [Streilin, J. W. 1987. Experimental biology: use in immunobiology , p. 215-225. In G. L. Van Hoosier, Jr., and C. W. McPherson (ed.), Laboratory hamsters . Academic Press, Inc., Orlando, Fla].

Infectious disease research - Hamsters are utilized in infectious disease research because they are susceptible to a wide variety of bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents. The hamster has served as a model of mycoplasma infection in man as well as a model of leishmaniasis and toxoplasmosis.

4.3. Non-infectious diseases

The noninfectious diseases noted in the pet population are similar to those seen in the laboratory hamster.

4.4. Infectious diseases

The bacterial diseases mentioned in the pet section are of similar concern though less common in the research setting. Viral diseases are of a much greater concern in the laboratory setting primarily because of the possibility of transmission to other species, namely mice and rats. Most viral infections in the hamster are subclinical in nature. The primary viral agents of concern are listed below:

Sendai virus and Pneumonia virus of mice

  • These are 2 respiratory viruses that have been shown to infect laboratory hamsters. They are RNA viruses of the family Paramyxoviridae. These viral infections involve both the upper and lower respiratory system and are spread by direct contact with nasal secretions and aerosol in rats and mice. Neither virus results in overt clinical disease; however there have been reports of deaths in suckling hamsters in colonies that are enzootically infected with Sendai virus (Profeta, M. L., F. S. Lief, and S. A. Plotkin. 1969. Enzootic Sendai virus infection in laboratory hamsters. Am. J. Epidemiol . 89:316-324.).

  • Diagnosis of Sendai virus or PVM infection is made by testing sera for specific antiviral antibodies in either an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or indirect immunofluorescent antibody (IFA). In case of suspected viral infection, the lungs could be examined microscopically for evidence of interstitial pneumonia or bronchiolitis. No detrimental effects on research have been documented for either viral infection in hamsters.

  • Both Sendai virus and PVM infection can be eliminated from a hamster population by isolating the animals and letting the infection run its natural course (often referred to as a "burn-out" strategy). During this period, no new animals should be introduced and all breeding activity must cease for 2 months to ensure that no new susceptible animals capable of propagating the virus are present. Cesarean derivation and foster rearing of pups on virus-antibody free hamsters has also been used to successfully eliminate the PVM virus.

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)

  • An arenavirus of the wild house mouse, can infect hamsters, monkeys, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, and people. Both pet and laboratory hamsters have been shown to harbor the virus. Naturally-occurring LCMV infection of hamsters is chronic, persistent, usually subclinical, and characterized by prolonged viral excretion in the urine (Parker, J. C., J. R. Ganaway, and C. S. Gillett. 1987. Viral diseases , p. 95-110. In G. L. Van Hoosier, Jr., and C. W. McPherson (ed.), Laboratory hamsters . Academic Press, Inc., Orlando, Fla).

  • Diagnosis of LCMV infection is by detection of serum antibodies by either ELISA or IFA testing methods. While no clinical disease is usually associated with naturally acquired LCMV infection in hamsters, experimental infection of neonatal pups has resulted in a chronic wasting disease that develops approximately seven weeks post-inoculation. Microscopic lesions included lymphocytic inflammation in many organs, vasculitis, and glomerulonephritis.

  • LCMV is a serious zoonotic agent. It can be spread from hamsters to people both by aerosol and by direct contact. Outbreaks in people have occurred from contact with infected pets as well as laboratory hamsters including a recent outbreak at a Rhode Island pet store. In addition, epidemics of LCM have occurred in people unknowingly handling LCMV-infected materials including animal tissues, transplantable tumors, and cell lines.

  • Infections in humans may be either subclinical or clinical with symptoms including fever, headache, myalgia, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, and photophobia. Differential diagnoses include influenza, mononucleosis, herpes encephalitis and perhaps tuberculous meningitis.

  • If LCMV is detected in a hamster colony, the colony should be eliminated immediately because of public health considerations. Cesarean derivation should not be attempted due to the possibility of in utero transmission. All biologic products originating from or passaged through hamsters, such as tumors and cell lines should be tested for LCMV.

Hamster papovavirus

  • Hamster papovavirus (HaPV), a virus of the family Papovaviridae, causes multiple cutaneous epitheliomas in infected hamsters. The epitheliomas are partially keratinized, contain melanin, originate from the hair follicles, and are transplantable to other hamsters. HaPV infections are not common; however, there are several reports of HaPV disease in the United States and Europe.

  • HaPV infection has also been linked to the development of transmissible lymphoma. Hamster colonies with HaPV have a high incidence of both cutaneous epitheliomas and lymphoma, although both rarely affect the same animal. A multisystemic lymphoma, primarily abdominal in distribution, develops in hamsters 10- to 34-weeks of age. The disease is highly contagious, with an infection rate approaching 80% of the hamsters within a colony during epizootics. Other etiologies have been proposed for hamster transmissible lymphoma, including activation of an oncogenic retrovirus or infection with a DNA viroid-like agent.

Adenoviral infections have been detected in many commercially-supplied laboratory hamsters in the United States. All colonies tested had serologic or histologic evidence of adenoviral infection. Prevalence within individual colonies ranged from 20 to 80% of the animals tested. No clinical disease has been associated with adenovirus infection.

5. Gerbils

(Portions of this material were reprinted from the ACLAM Lab Animal Medicine and Science Series II CD-Rom)

5.1. Stocks/strains available

Genus, species : Meriones unguiculatus

Outbred gerbils are available for research from several vendors.

5.2. Use in Research

One of the first uses of gerbils in research was in radiation studies, because they can tolerate much greater whole-body radiation exposure than other animal species. They have also been used in studies of endocrine gland metabolism, as they have one of the largest ratios of adrenal weight to body weight of all animals.

The gerbil is a valuable animal model for stroke research. Most animal species have a major arterial vascular supply to the base of the brain - the Circle of Willis. This circle is incomplete in the gerbil. Unilateral carotid ligation in the gerbil results in ipsilateral cerebral ischemia.

Gerbils have a high incidence of spontaneous epileptiform seizures, usually precipitated by being startled or by a novel environment. This makes them an important animal model for study of epilepsy.

They are important also in research of lipid metabolism and heart disease, because they display lipemia and hypercholesterolemia even on rodent diets with standard fat composition. In the gerbil, this results in hepatic lipidosis and gallstones, but not in atherosclerosis.

They have been used in reproduction studies to evaluate antifertility drugs and in auditory research, because their hearing curve is closer to man's than most common laboratory animals.

Gerbils are also useful in infectious disease research. Although they are relatively free of spontaneous diseases, they are susceptible to agents from other species. And finally, they are used in parasitology research, as they have been successfully infected with parasites common to other species.

5.3. Noninfectious Diseases

Management-related conditions

  • Excessive humidity - greasy coat; tail barbering; tail degloving injuries (improper handling)

Nasal dermatitis

  • Also known as "sorenose", is an important noninfectious disease of gerbils, especially weanlings.

  • Clinical signs include perinasal erythema, alopecia or scabbing, an accumulation of reddish-brown porphyrin and moist dermatitis, which in extreme cases may spread to the rest of the face, forelegs and ventrum

  • The etiology of sorenose is unknown. A proposed pathogenesis is that stress results in increased secretion of porphyrin-containing fluid from the Harderian glands, which causes irritation. The gerbil traumatizes itself by rubbing or scratching, potentiating a secondary bacterial infection, usually with Staphyloccus spp.

  • The condition is self-limiting in some cases.

  • Treatment consists of eliminating the causal factors. Clean, dry, soft bedding should be provided; the cage should be checked for sharp surfaces and trauma-causing items should be removed; and stress should be reduced. An Elizabethan collar, constructed from radiographic film, can be used to reduce self-trauma and promote healing.

Epileptiform seizures

  • Approximately 20% of gerbils exhibit spontaneous epileptiform seizures, which vary from cataleptic and hypnotic to grand mal seizures. The incidence can be even higher in inbred colonies.

  • Episodes may be initiated by sudden stress, handling, or introduction into a new environment.

  • Onset is at 2-3 months of age, with increased incidence and severity up to 6 months of age.

  • After a seizure, it may be several hours before seizure threshold is reached again. The seizures have no obvious adverse effects and do not require treatment.

  • They should not be treated with diphenylhydantoin, as it can be fatal to gerbils.

  • Handling weanlings frequently is recommended to reduce the incidence of seizures later on.

Geriatric diseases:

  • Neoplasms in the gerbil increase in incidence with age. Some of the more common are ovarian granulosa and thecal cell tumors, leiomyomas, sebaceous gland adenomas and carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, melanomas, adrenal gland adenomas and carcinomas, and splenic hemangiomas.

  • Cystic ovaries are another common geriatric disease of the gerbil, with an incidence of 20% in aged females. Cystic ovaries may cause clinical signs of abdominal swelling, infertility and decreased litter size.

  • Older gerbils are also susceptible to chronic interstitial nephritis. It is evidenced by polyuria, polydipsia and weight loss. Gross lesions include shrunken and pitted kidneys.

5.4. Infectious Diseases

  • Bacterial disease: Tyzzer's disease, Salmonella, non-specific enteritis

  • Viral Diseases: No naturally-occurring viral diseases have been reported in gerbils.

  • Parasitic diseases: Gerbils may become infected with mites and lice seen in other rodent species, but clinical signs of disease are rare unless the gerbil is already debilitated

  • Endoparasites: Gerbils may also host nematodes, such as Syphacia spp and Dentostomella ; cestodes, such as Hymenolepis spp ; and protozoa, such as Spironucleus , Tritrichomonas and Entamoeba .

6. Rats & Mice

6.1. Stocks/Strains

Genus, species: Rattus norvegicus, Mus musculus

There are numerous outbred (stocks) and inbred (strains) of mice and rats available commercially. In addition, a wide variety of genetically engineered mice (GEMs) are also available. To date, it has proven to be more difficult to produce transgenic rats (though it is possible) so there are fewer of these models available for research.

6.2. Use in Research

General categories of use of rats and mice in research are gnotobiology, nutrition, embryology and teratology, toxicology, oncology, gerontology, physiology, genetics, immunology, behavior, and all aspects of disease. Large data bases on rodents are available as a result of years of selective breeding designed to meet specific research requirements for models of human disease.

Of paramount significance, however, is the general use of rats and mice as animal models for human disease conditions. An animal model represents some, most, or all aspects of a normal or abnormal condition in another animal or human being. Abnormal model conditions may be inherited, spontaneous, or experimentally-induced.

Inherited diseases : Some of the major inherited diseases of rats that have analogous conditions in man are hypertension, diabetes insipidus, retinal degeneration and audiogenic seizures. Other inherited diseases include hydrocephalus, deafness, microphthalmia, cataracts, pituitary dwarfism, non-eruption of teeth, acholuric jaundice, and obesity.

Attributes for research : Rats and mice have several attributes that contribute to their popularity as research animals. They are well characterized and understood anatomically, physiologically, and genetically. They withstand inbreeding fairly well, and a large number of inbred strains have been established. Many mutant stocks that are models of human disease have also been established.

Immunodeficient models : A variety of immunocompromised or immunodeficient rat and mice models exist (e.g., SCID, Nudes) which are used extensively both in immunology research as well as other areas of research. Because of their immune status, these models have special requirements with respect to housing (autoclaved cages and bedding), husbandry (autoclaved or gamma irradiated feed and water) and handling (aseptic technique using sterile gloves and forceps, all handling/procedures are performed under a hood).

6.3. Noninfectious diseases

Typical noninfectious conditions seen in the laboratory setting are similar to those seen with pets and include: malocclusion, neoplasia (esp. mammary tumors in rats), barbering and fighting (esp. amongst males). Because most facilities feed rodents a balanced, commercially available diet, nutritional deficiencies are rarely seen but have been reported in situations where a particular lot of feed was mixed inappropriately or in cases where the animals received diets formulated by the researcher (diet/nutritional studies). Ad lib feeding of mice and rats does result in obesity in aging populations.

6.4. Infectious disease

6.4.1. Health Surveillance Programs

A health surveillance program is the testing of selected animals (sentinels) to determine the infection status of a population. The goal is to detect the presence of infectious diseases, usually viruses. It is not meant to determine the prevalence of an infectious agent within a colony.

There are numerous types of health surveillance systems in use at laboratory facilities. A health surveillance program must be designed to match the requirements of the research program it serves. Intensive or frequent testing is required in a colony with high likelihood of viral contamination, or where a contamination will have profound effects on the research being conducted. A less intensive program may be suitable in some cases where contamination will not interfere with research objectives. Not all viruses/diseases need to be tested with the same frequency. Viruses presenting the greatest risk to the colony should be tested for more frequently than other less problematic agents.

Most sentinel animals are housed separately in open top (wire-bar) cages and are exposed to dirty bedding from cages within the rack or room. This maximizes the chance of disease transmission for most agents except for ectoparasites which require direct contact for transmission. Some facilities use a combination of dirty-bedding and direct contact sentinels to account for this and increase their chances of detecting pathogens that may be present. The primary problem of using direct contact sentinels is that of improper identification (e.g., all white mice look similar) and unintended pregnancies. By using mice of a different color or a permanent means of identification, misidentification can be avoided. Most facilities utilizing direct contact sentinels use female mice and limit the exposure period to 2 weeks which would allow for removal prior to the birth of a litter if the female conceives during her exposure period.

A typical sentinel program involves quarterly screening for viral and parasitic pathogens with annual or semi-annual bacteriology and gross necropsy screening.

7. Tables of Normal Values for Various Rodent Species

Species

Life span

Heart rate

Resp rate

Rectal temp

Sexual maturity

Gestation

Weaning age

Hamster

1.5-2 yrs.

250-500/min.

35-135/min.

98.6- 100.4

10 wk (M) 6 wk (F)

15-16 d.

20-25 d.

Gerbil

3-4 yrs.

360/min.

90/min.

98.6- 101.3

70 d.(M) 65 d. (F)

27-48 d.

20-26 d.

Rat

2-3 yrs.

250-450/min.

70-115/min.

96.8- 99.5

65 days

21-23 d.

21 d.

Mouse

1.5-3 yrs.

325-780/min.

60-220/min.

97.7- 100.4

50 days

19-21 d.

21-28 d.

7.1. COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT

Red blood cells

Guinea pig

Chinchilla

Hamsters

Gerbil

Rat

Mouse

PCV (%)

35 - 50

25 - 54

40 - 52

35 - 45

40 - 50

35 - 50

RBC (106/μl)

4.5 - 7.0

5.2 - 10.3

4 - 9.3

8.3 - 9.3

7.2 - 9.6

9.3 - 10.5

Hb (g/dl)

11 - 15

8.0 - 15.4

9.7 - 16.8

10 - 16

14.8

12 - 14.9

MCV (fl)

81

32.1 - 69.2

-

-

-

-

MCHC (%)

30

20 - 38.5

-

-

-

-

MCH (pg)

25

10.4 - 19.8

-

-

-

-

White blood cells

-

-

-

-

-

-

WBC (103/μl)

5 - 12

1.6 - 45.1

7 - 15

9 - 14

8 - 14

8 - 14

Neutrophil (%)

28 - 34

1 - 78

16 - 28

10 - 20

30

26

Lymphocyte (%)

39 - 72

19 - 98

64 - 78

70 - 89

65 - 77

55 - 80

Monocyte (%)

3 - 12

0 - 5

2

0

4

5

Eosinophil (%)

1 - 5

0 - 9

1

1

1

3

Basophil (%)

0 - 3

0 - 11

0

0

0

0

7.2. SERUM BIOCHEMISTRY

Chemistry compound

Guinea pig

Chinchilla

Hamster

Gerbil

Rat

Mouse

ALT (U/l)

10 - 25

-

22 - 122

-

25 - 42

32 - 41

AST (U/l)

-

-

22 - 128

-

-

-

CPK (U/l)

-

-

263 - 793

-

-

-

LDH (U/l)

-

406 - 636

148 - 412

-

-

-

Total protein (g/dl)

4.6 - 6.2

3.29 - 4.61

5.8 - 7.0

4.8 - 16.8

-

-

Albumin (g/dl)

2.1 - 3.9

-

3.5 - 4.9

-

-

-

Globulin (g/dl)

1.7 - 2.6

-

-

-

-

-

BUN (mg/dl)

9 - 31.5

-

10 - 40

16.8 - 31.3

10 - 20

8 - 30

Creatinine (mg/dl)

0.6 - 2.2

-

0.4 - 1.0

0.50 - 1.40

-

-

Total Bilirubin (mg/dl)

0.3 - 0.9

0 - 0.23

0.3 - 0.4

0.20 - 0.60

0.42

0.18 - 0.54

Glucose (mg/dl)

60 - 125

89.0 - 163.0

32.6 - 118.4

69 - 141

50 - 115

108 - 192

Cholesterol (mg/dl)

20 - 43

96.0 - 147.0

55 - 181

90.0 - 130.0

-

-

Triglycerides (mg/dl)

0 - 145

-

72 - 227

-

-

-

Sodium (mEq/l)

146 - 152

-

106 - 185

144 - 158

144

114 - 154

Chloride (mEq/l)

98 - 115

96.6 - 113.0

-

93.0 - 118.0

-

-

Potassium (mEq/l)

6.8 - 8.9

3.3 - 6.3

2.3 - 9.8

3.0 - 4.6

5.9

3.0 - 9.6

Calcium (mg/dl)

5.3

4.40 - 10.0

9.8 - 13.2

3.70 - 6.20

-

-

Phosphorus (mg/dl)

5.3

4.70 - 7.0

3.0 - 9.9

3.7 - 7.2

-

-

8. References and Resources

8.1. Professional Organizations

American Association for Laboratory Animal Science http://www.aalas.org/

American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM): http://www.aclam.org/

American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP): http://www.aslap.org

Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians (AEMV) http://www.aemv.org/

8.2. Websites

Many of the major rodent vendors have excellent websites with valuable information such as tumor incidence in specific strains as well as normal values data for hematologic parameters. They also usually have up-to-date information on the newest diagnostic methods. Some vendors also have diagnostic laboratories (Charles River, Taconic) that will perform testing on pet animals in addition to laboratory animals. The diagnostic lab websites usually contain specific information on the type of specimen to submit, how to submit it and many even contain step-by-step instructions for collecting "hard-to-get" samples like mouse mesenteric lymph nodes.

Charles River Laboratories: http://www.criver.com

Harlan: http://www.harlan.com

The Jackson Laboratory: http://www.jax.org

Taconic: http://www.taconic.com

University of Missouri Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory: http://www.radil.missouri.edu/info/index.asp (NOTE: this is an excellent site that contains numerous training materials and diagnostic information).

8.3. Journals

Contemporary Topics

Comparative Medicine

ILAR Journal

Laboratory Animals

Lab Animal (especially good for the exotic practitioner, many articles useful for client, technician education, password required)

8.4. Articles,Texts and CDs

ACLAM Lab Animal Medicine and Science Series II CD-Rom. Great resource!!

ACLAM "blue book" series - see http://www.aclam.org

Baker, David G. Natural pathogens of laboratory mice, rats, and rabbits and their effects on research. Clinical Microbiology Reviews , vol. 11 (2), April 1998:231-266.

Brown, P. A. and S. Hoogstraten-Miller. Principles of Aseptic Rodent Survival Surgery: General Training in Rodent Survival Surgery - Part I - II. In: Laboratory Animal Medicine and Management , Reuter J.D. and Suckow M.A. (Eds.) International Veterinary Information Service, Ithaca NY (www.ivis.org), 2004

Fox, JG, Cohen, BJ, Loew, FM. Laboratory Animal Medicine , 2nd ed. Orlando, Florida: Academic Press, 2002.

Quesenberry, Katherine E., James W. Carpenter, Peter Quesenberry. Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery Includes Sugar Gliders and Hedgehogs. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co., c2003

Hawk CT, Leary SL. Formulary for Laboratory Animals , 3rd ed. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 2004.

Laboratory Animal Medicine and Management edited by J.D. Reuter and M.A.Suckow. 2003-.