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Chapter Twenty-Nine. Miscellaneous Laboratory Animals Part 1. ALAT Presentations Study Tips. If viewing this in PowerPoint, use the icon to run the show (bottom left of screen). Mac users go to “Slide Show > View Show” in menu bar

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Chapter Twenty-Nine

Miscellaneous Laboratory Animals

Part 1

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ALAT Presentations Study Tips

  • If viewing this in PowerPoint, use the icon to run the show (bottom left of screen).

    • Mac users go to “Slide Show > View Show” in menu bar

  • Click on the Audio icon: when it appears on the left of the slide to hear the narration.

  • From “File > Print” in the menu bar, choose “notes pages”, “slides 3 per page” or “outline view” for taking notes as you listen and watch the presentation.

    • Start your own notebook with a 3 ring binder, for later study!

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Miscellaneous Laboratory Animals

  • This chapter is devoted to a brief outline of some of the less commonly seen animals in a research facility.

  • Horses and cattle, for example, are most often found in agricultural research programs, rather than a typical laboratory.

  • The remainder of the species listed each have specific research uses, and therefore the type of research being conducted at a facility will determine whether or not these species are used.

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  • Categorized as ponies, light horses, draft horses

  • Most often source of blood for production of specific serums, antiserums & antitoxins

  • Handling and Restraint:

    • cannot be restrained by force alone

    • taught to submit to handling and voice control

    • approach & handle in a confident, calm manner, while speaking softly

    • unable to see objects directly in front of them

      • approach from a 45 degree angle off either shoulder

    • Physical contact to gain animal’s confidence & give handler warning of sudden movements

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Horses II

  • Led near a wall, keep safely to horse’s shoulder w/ a short lead & elbow against side of neck

  • Backing into a corner can prevent backing away

  • Handler on same side as person doing manipulation, prevents horse turning & kicking

  • Tie rope long & high enough to prevent horse from getting leg over rope or head under it

    • Use quick release snaps or knots

  • 1 person never does manipulations on tied horse

  • Picking up 1 front leg discourages it from moving

    • horse is reluctant or unable to simultaneously lift another foot

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Horse Behavior

  • Establish social hierarchy, w/ an older mare dominating the group, except in breeding season

  • “Mood” can be detected by head carriage, ear position & look in eyes

    • Pawing, continuous body movement, head tossing, a wild or frightened look in the eyes, ears laid back against the head or attempts to bite - signals of danger

  • Nonaggressive but frighten easily

    • will flee perceived danger before being aggressive

  • In home environment they appear relaxed, often resting one hind leg

  • Horses usually doze or sleep standing up

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Horse Husbandry & Diet

  • Install watering devices & feed containers at a comfortably high level to prevent fouling

  • Avoid sharp corners & protrusions on containers

  • Rail or woven wire fences should be 4.5 ft high

  • In stalls, provide contact bedding of straw

  • Frequent removal of soiled bedding essential

  • Non-ruminant grazing animals - digestive system is adapted to frequent small feedings

  • Amount of food depends on horse’s size, age, exercise level, & laboratory use

  • Concentrated feed necessary in severe weather

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  • Cud-chewing animals

  • Beef & dairy cattle are primary types in U.S.

    • Beef cattle for rapid growth and meat production

    • Dairy cattle for high milk production

  • Purebred beef breeds = Angus, Brahman, Charolais, Hereford, Shorthorn

  • Dairy breeds = Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn

  • Used in bovine health, toxicology & cardiovascular studies, development of artificial hearts & cardiac assist devices

    • Dairy cows used in milk radioactivity uptake studies

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Cattle Handling & Restraint

  • Flanking - grasp from side w/ 1 hand under neck

    • W/ other hand reach over back, grasp flank fold

    • or 1 rear & 1 front leg grasped

    • or 1 front leg & flank fold

  • Lift & pull calf up off feet, let slide down legs

    • then restrain on ground w/ knee on neck & upper front leg bent back

  • Squeeze chute w/ head & tail gate - Individual restraint requiring nearly complete immobilization

  • Side panels & bars movable, allows side access

  • For larger animals, squeeze chutes, must be available & properly used

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Cattle Behavior

  • Quiet & tend to follow a leader

  • Separation from group can be stressful

  • When handled frequently & gently most cattle become tractable & trustful of handlers

  • Strong & excitable, capable of inflicting injuries

  • Handle w/ quiet patience & confidence, but w/ respect for their size & power

  • Cattle spend much of their time ruminating

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Cattle Husbandry & Diet

  • Housing similar to sheep and goats

  • Adapt to automatic watering

    • dispenses water when lever pressed with muzzle

  • Pastures - shade in summer & shelter in winter

  • Not housed on pasture - held in stalls bedded w/ straw or shavings

  • Can thrive on pasture & roughage

  • Silage = fermented mix of corn & roughage

    • Nutritional needs of cattle similar to sheep & goats

  • Drink 10 - 15 gal water / day; large quantities of fresh water must always be available

  • Provided w/ mineral block

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  • Reptiles are ectothermic vertebrates

  • Distinguished by dry, scaly skin & turtle shell

  • Class Reptilia = tortoises & turtles, crocodiles & alligators, snakes & lizards

  • Breathe air by means of lungs at all stages of life

    • not through gill-breathing tadpole stage as amphibians

  • All major groups of reptiles contain some endangered species

  • Used for anatomical & comparative physiological studies

  • Investigators who order them have some expertise & are valuable info. resource

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Reptile Handling & Restraint

  • Move gently, confidently & quickly

    • A hesitant or jerky approach provokes a bite

    • If gently handled, most become less aggressive, placid

  • Can be scooped up by body & moved quickly, no real restraint needed

    • Head restraint necessary, support reptile’s body & legs

  • Hook effective tool for lifting a snake to a holding container or clean cage

    • slid under snake 1/3 - 1/2 down body

    • Snake is lifted quickly to a meter above surface

  • Label venomous snakes or lizards “Poisonous” or “Dangerous” in a noticeable color

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Reptile Handling & Restraint II

  • Large lizards hand held by grasping behind head w/ 1 hand, pinning front legs against body, pinning hind legs against tail w/ other hand

  • Small lizards not enclosed by hand for > than a few seconds, since this may injure or kill them

  • Never handle lizard by tail - potential tail damage

  • Turtles can be picked up by shell

  • Snapping turtles & soft-shell turtles have long flexible necks & can inflict severe bite wounds

    • carry by tail & hold well away from body

    • Wear heavy protective gloves when carrying them

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Reptile Behavior

  • Most reptiles used in laboratories are wild-caught

    • limited capacity to adapt, & success in captivity depends on ability of keeper to create a natural habitat

  • Best to maintain species separately & keep no. within enclosure to a minimum

  • Active during day bask in sunlight

  • Position sunlamp at 1 end of enclosure, 1 meter from water bath

  • Check cage temp. carefully & frequently

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Reptile Behavior II

  • All reptiles periodically shed their skin

    • How completely, intact & often is health indicator

  • Frequent sheds indicate healthy eating & growing

  • Lizards, turtles & crocodilians shed many pieces

  • Snakes normally shed in one piece, from nose to tail, which is peeled off like a sock

  • Sickness or inadequate humidity may cause a reptile to shed in pieces or to be unable to shed

    • In the latter case, placing a snake in a bowl of warm water aids shedding

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Reptile Husbandry

  • Deviation from natural environment = stress

    • Reptile that eats in captivity is not unduly stressed & has successfully adapted

    • Adaptation may require a few days for some species or several weeks for others

  • Stressed animals refuse to eat & die of starvation

  • Goal to establish & maintain feeding behavior

  • Wide-spectrum fluorescent light recommended

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Thermal Gradient

  • Ectothermic = unable to generate heat internally

    • body temp = surroundings

  • Turtles & lizards - daily fluctuation in body temp critical aspect of animals’ feeding mechanism

  • Establish conditions that allow reptiles thermoregulation

    • thermal gradient = a range of temp within cage

    • light bulb at one end of cage & an escape from radiation in a shade or hide box at other end

  • Establish the light system & monitor temps before placing animal in cage

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Reptile Husbandry II

  • Access to hiding places important for reptiles

  • Tree limbs, rocks, logs, artificial plants & water bath vessels simulate natural environment, encourages normal hiding behavior

    • can contribute to diseases associated w/ poor hygiene

    • wash & autoclave to destroy accumulating organisms

  • Glass aquariums house reptiles

  • Securely fasten wire or screen cover

  • Thermoregulation most important consideration for cage size

    • Standard for snakes is one square meter per meter of animal length

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Reptile Husbandry III

  • Burrowing reptiles require sand or soil

    • gravel can be substituted or mixed with soil or sand

  • Floor covering should be 5 to 10 cm deep

  • Most defecate 2 - 3 days after food intake

    • Clean cage after defecation but > 2 days after feeding

    • Disturbances close to feeding (before or after) may cause food refusal or regurgitate recently eaten food

  • Place water at ground level

    • Do not assume reptiles drink until observed

    • Many soak in containers if large enough

    • Lizards lap water from wetted surfaces

    • Daily misting is beneficial

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Reptile Diet

  • Snakes are strictly carnivorous

  • Prey swallowed whole

  • Jaw & skull pliable for swallowing large prey

  • Many, especially snakes, eat only live foods

    • Some, adapt to feeding on dead or parts of animals

    • Such foods should be frozen before feeding

  • Environment & food must be warm enough to stimulate feeding & to ensure proper digestion

  • When feeding live food, observe, remain motionless until strike occurs, then leave

  • Do not leave live rodents unattended w/ snakes, they could attack snakes

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Reptile Diet II

  • Lizards prone to ailments from inadequate diet & vitamin deficiencies

    • Prevention - offer a wide variety of food

    • Supplement 1 - 2x / wk w/ vitamin & mineral powder

    • powder can be in food or drinking water

  • Most lizards are principally insectivorous

  • Optimal high body temp to achieve activity level to capture live prey

  • Vary type of insects, feed as much as will eat 2 - 3x / wk maintains body weight & normal growth

  • Smaller, active species require more food, & larger species become obese on a heavier diet

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Reptile Diet III

  • Large lizards usually carnivorous

    • diet of lean meat, raw eggs, & rodents, chicks & sometimes fish

    • A few species are herbivorous

  • Turtles are aquatic, amphibious or terrestrial

  • Fresh water turtles:

    • both aquatic & amphibious

    • carnivorous, not necessarily living food

    • feed on meat, fish, & small animals

    • green leafy vegetation, supplemental nutrition

    • must feed in water deep enough to submerge while swallowing

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Reptile Diet IV

  • Calcium essential for species fed boneless meat

  • Allow turtles >2 hrs to eat before tank cleaned

  • Some terrestrial turtles herbivorous & some omnivorous

  • Low fat dog food a substitute for red meat

    • More nutritionally complete & has better calcium to phosphorus ratio

  • Force-feeding reptiles only as last measure

    • mouth is opened w/ a finger or a soft utensil, food is pushed to back of mouth

    • difficult to sustain a reptile by force-feeding

    • discourages natural feeding behavior

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End of Part 1

  • Please proceed to ALAT Chapter 29, part 2