Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every four months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

Tips for using the database:

  • This landing page displays all of the publications in the database.
  • Use the drop-down menus to filter these publications by Animal Type, Setting, and/or Topic.
  • Clicking on a parent category (e.g., Rodent) will include publications relating to all the items in that category (e.g., Chinchilla, Gerbil, Guinea Pig, etc.).
  • You may also add a keyword to further narrow your search.
  • Please note that at this time, only publications dated 2010 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic, and only publications dated 2020 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Setting. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Subcutaneous injection is a vital technique in mouse-based biomedical research. Compared to other injections, the subcutaneous method poses fewer technical challenges and reduces acute toxicity risks due to slower absorption. Several suitable subcutaneous injection sites...

Voluntary oral drug administration using sweet substances promotes rodents’ therapeutic compliance while reducing stress induced by forced drug administration. We aimed to test whether rats would willingly eat strawberry jam or condensed milk from a...

A non-invasive method of drug delivery, intranasal atomization, has shown positive results in human medicine and in some animal species. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of intranasal atomization, compared to...

Drug safety and efficacy studies frequently use oral gavage, but repetitive usage may cause problems. Administration through voluntary ingestion represents an opportunity for refinement. We aimed to develop a protocol for voluntary ingestion of gelatin-based...

Mice are the most commonly used laboratory animal, yet there are limited studies which investigate the effects of repeated handling on their welfare and scientific outcomes. Furthermore, simple methods to evaluate distress in mice are...

Intrapleural injections can be used in mice to deliver therapeutic and diagnostic agents and to model human disease processes (for example, pleural fluid accumulation, malignant pleural disease, and lung cancers). In the context of establishing...

Practical mechanisms that can be implemented by animal facilities to enhance refinement include the use of non-aversive handling, non-invasive alternative procedures, and additional environmental enrichment. Thus, we sought to collate these techniques by developing a...

Oral vaccines are gaining attention for their ease of administration and ability to activate mucosal immune responses. However, preclinical studies using this route often require the use of gavage, which has limitations. In this comment...

The goals of this study were to determine whether mice would adapt to a low-calorie flavored water gel as their sole source of hydration and whether the addition of acetaminophen, tramadol, meloxicam, or buprenorphine to...

Using food rewards to motivate mice is commonplace in behavioural research. Using a reward which is highly desirable is of benefit, as it can reduce the need to food restrict animals and can encourage higher...

Malocclusion is evident around the first 2-5 weeks of age for mice (NC3Rs, 2021). Therefore, it is hypothesised that a regular welfare check, the POST WEAN CHECK (PWC) at 5 weeks would: - significantly increase...

Precise oral dosing in rodents is usually achieved by intragastric gavage. If performed incorrectly due to technical difficulties, inexperience, or animal resistance, oral gavage may have animal welfare implications such as esophageal and gastric rupture...

Despite clear benefits of PRT for NHPs and biomedical research, investigators often view the investment in personnel expertise and time required to train animals as deterrents towards adopting PRT. We provide an example of how...

Modified Handling for Mice: Handling mice by gripping the base of the tail has been shown to negatively impact animal welfare by increasing anxiety and aversion to handling. We aimed to refi ne the dosing...

It is desirable to administer drugs by the least invasive route to (1) optimise welfare, (2) reduce the risk of injury to animal handlers and (3) minimise the impact of restraint and transient pain on...

Preclinical drug studies routinely administer experimental compounds to animal models with the goal of minimizing potential adverse events from the procedure. In this study, we assessed the ability to train adult male Long Evans rats...

Oral administration of medication to experimental animals is a cause of significant stress. When coupled to animals who are already under strenuous circumstances due to the disease being modelled, there is a significant risk for...

Mice can be prone to skin lesions for various reasons. Green clay is a non-invvasive method to treat such skin lesions, and does not require veterinary approval or have properties that may interfere with an...

Burns cause many significant changes in metabolism and inflammatory reactions, leading to poor regeneration in animals and humans. A list of medicines to treat burns is available in the market. But due to the high...

Debates around fishes’ ability to feel pain concern sentience: do reactions to tissue damage indicate evaluative consciousness (conscious affect), or mere nociception? Thanks to Braithwaite’s research leadership, and concerns that current practices could compromise welfare...

In utero electroporation (IUE) requires high-level training in microinjection through the mouse uterine wall into the lateral ventricle of the mouse brain. Training for IUE is currently being performed in live mice as no artificial...

Refinement is one of the ethical pillars of the use of animals in research. Ultrasonography is currently used in human medicine as a surgical tool for guided biopsies and this idea can be applied to...

The designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) system is one of the most widely used chemogenetic techniques to modulate the activity of cell populations in the brains of behaving animals. DREADDs are activated...

Drug administration to experimental rodents is often invasive and stressful, thus reducing animal welfare and potentially confounding experimental results. Methods of oral drug delivery in which rodents cooperate voluntarily minimize stress, pain and morbidity. We herein...

Long-term, multi-institutional assessments have become a reliable tool for evaluating patterns of wounding in zoo-living primates, with results informing on best practices for species-specific care protocols and population management strategies. For western lowland gorillas (Gorilla...