FIGURE 4-1 Distressed animal: Team dialogue on decision making. The decision to not treat an animal would depend on the cause of the distress and the severity of the animal’s condition. If the distress is appropriately caused by the research protocol, then the animal will either remain on the study without treatment or—if severely compromised—euthanized. If the distress is caused by an external perturbation, such as husbandry issues, that can be corrected without a direct therapeutic intervention on the animal (which might interfere with protocol), then again the animal would remain in the study without treatment, but the environmental causes would have to be addressed.
distress include, but are not limited to, improper grouping with incompatible conspecifics or other species; lack or withdrawal of food, water, or clean bedding; and inappropriate noise levels and light cycles, particularly if the interval before euthanasia is long. Last, not least, it is essential to ensure that the animals are truly dead before their disposal.