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Guide for the Care and use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition
major or minor should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the veterinarian and IACUC.
Emergency situations sometimes require immediate surgical attention under less than ideal conditions. For example, if an animal maintained outdoors needs surgical attention, movement to a surgical facility might be impractical or pose an unacceptable risk to the animal. Such situations often require more intensive aftercare and may pose a greater risk of postoperative complications. The appropriate course of action requires veterinary medical judgment.
In nonsurvival surgery, an animal is euthanized before recovery from anesthesia. It may not be necessary to follow all the techniques outlined in this section if nonsurvival surgery is performed but, at a minimum, the surgical site should be clipped, the surgeon should wear gloves, and the instruments and surrounding area should be clean (Slattum et al. 1991). For nonsurvival procedures of extended duration, attention to aseptic technique may be more important in order to ensure stability of the model and a successful outcome.
Aseptic technique is used to reduce microbial contamination to the lowest possible practical level (Mangram et al. 1999). No procedure, piece of equipment, or germicide alone can achieve that objective (Schonholtz 1976): aseptic technique requires the input and cooperation of everyone who enters the surgery area (Belkin 1992; McWilliams 1976). The contribution and importance of each practice varies with the procedure. Regardless of the species, aseptic technique includes preparation of the patient, such as hair or feather removal and disinfection of the operative site (Hofmann 1979); preparation of the surgeon, such as the provision of appropriate surgical attire, face masks, and sterile surgical gloves (Chamberlain and Houang 1984; Pereira et al. 1990; Schonholtz 1976); sterilization of instruments, supplies, and implanted materials (Bernal et al. 2009; Kagan 1992b); and the use of operative techniques to reduce the likelihood of infection (Ayliffe 1991; Kagan 1992a; Lovaglio and Lawson 1995; Ritter and Marmion 1987; Schofield 1994; Whyte 1988).
While the species of animal may influence the manner in which principles of aseptic technique are achieved (Brown 1994; Cunliffe-Beamer 1983; Gentry and French 1994), inadequate or improper technique may lead to subclinical infections that can cause adverse physiologic and behavioral responses (Beamer 1972; Bradfield et al. 1992; Cunliffe-Beamer 1990; Waynforth 1980, 1987) affecting surgical success, animal well-being, and research results (Cooper et al. 2000). General principles of aseptic technique should be followed for all survival surgical procedures (ACLAM 2001).