Trimming Toenails Saves Mice

For mice in laboratories, ulcerative dermatitis is a common condition affecting their health and welfare. It is also often a death sentence, as the most common treatments are rarely effective. Some reports have suggested that trimming the rear toenails can aid recovery, but these have been anecdotal. However, a recent study by Adams et al. (PLOS One, 2016) carefully examined the effectiveness of that procedure. The authors compared the standard treatment regimen of long-term topical therapy versus trimming the rear toenails plus a single dose of a topical therapeutic. The results showed 93 percent of the toenail trim group being cured versus only 25 percent for the standard therapy. Not only were they able to relieve the pain and itchiness of the dermatitis, but they were able to minimize the use of other drugs that would potentially affect study outcomes.

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