does a rotational enrichment program improve the well being of sprague dawley rats
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Does a Rotational Enrichment Program Improve the Well-being of Sprague Dawley Rats?. Debra L. Hickman, DVM, MS, DACLAM. Enrichment for Rats. Structural & Social. Nesting/Foraging/Gnawing. Research Question. Can we improve rat well-being by implementing a rotational enrichment scheme?

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does a rotational enrichment program improve the well being of sprague dawley rats

Does a Rotational Enrichment Program Improve the Well-being of Sprague Dawley Rats?

Debra L. Hickman, DVM, MS, DACLAM

research question
Research Question
  • Can we improve rat well-being by implementing a rotational enrichment scheme?
  • We know this is important in other highly social species (e.g. dogs, NHP)
  • Proposed use of behavioral and immunological assessment to measure rat well-being
materials and methods
Materials and Methods
  • Male Sprague Dawley rats
  • Train to Spatial Cognitive Bias Assay
  • Test on Spatial Cognitive Bias Assay
    • Initial
    • Repeat in 3 months
    • Reverse the location of the rewarded pot and measure learning and path
experimental design
Experimental Design
  • All individually housed with no enrichment during training
  • After learn spatial discrimination task:
    • Move to treatment condition
    • Initiate testing 24-36 hours later
  • Repeat cognitive bias testing 3 months later
  • Reverse rewarded vs nonrewarded locations and measure days to learn and path of exploration
treatment groups
Treatment Groups
  • Controls:
    • Social isolation
    • Pair housed
  • Intracage shelter
  • Nesting material
  • Daily provision of food treat
  • Shelter, nesting material, and daily food treat (“superenriched”)
  • Weekly rotation of shelter, nesting material, and daily food treat
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Melissa Swan
  • R’nld Wheeler
  • Tiffany Riddle
  • Jessica Peveler
  • Jesus Bazan
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