Refinement Database

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

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

Links to the full text for publications that appear in open access journals or are published on the AWI website are provided under the abstract.

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 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. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 
Background: Conventional methods for individually housing, training, and testing rodents in behavioral assays can impose constraints that may limit some kinds of experimental external validity, preempt environmental enrichment, impose heavy experimenter time burdens that limit...
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...
General anesthesia as used for rodent research can have adverse effects on physiologic mechanisms. Thermoregulation is often greatly inhibited, with resultant deleterious effects on cardiac and respiratory function. These potential effects can be mitigated by...
Human hair removal brands such as Nair™ are sometimes used in research to remove hair from mice before surgery, imaging, and other procedures.1,3 While the use of these depilatory creams in rodent research is relatively...
Complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)-induced arthritis in rats is a common animal model for studying chronic inflammatory pain. However, modelling of the disease is associated with unnecessary pain and impaired animal wellbeing, particularly in the immediate...
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative motor disorder and primarily affects movement control but also a range of non-motor functions. With unknown etiology and lack of cure, much research is dedicated to unravel...
Small animal models are frequently used to improve our understanding of the molecular and biological signaling pathways underlying the beneficial effects of physical activity and exercise. Unfortunately, when running wheels are employed, mice and rats...
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...
The radial arm maze (RAM) is a common behavioral test to quantify spatial learning and memory in rodents. Prior attempts to refine the standard experimental setup have been insufficient. Previously, we demonstrated the feasibility of...
Multiple methods are used to collect blood from mice; these methods have different effects on animal welfare. This study compared blood collection from facial, chin, and saphenous locations with regard to various parameters, including the...
Rabbits are frequently used as surgical models in research. However, studies assessing the effects of various hair removal methods on wound healing and surgical site infection (SSI) in rabbits are sparse. Here we evaluated the...
Surgical procedures are commonly performed using mice but can have major effects on their core body temperature, including development of hypothermia. In this study, we evaluated active perioperative warming with and without surgical draping with...
The use of head fixation in mice is increasingly common in research, its use having initially been restricted to the field of sensory neuroscience. Head restraint has often been combined with fluid control, rather than...
OBJECTIVE: To test whether the use of a flexible endotracheal tube introducer (ETI) facilitates intubation of cats by veterinary students with little or no experience. ANIMALS: 125 healthy cats. PROCEDURES: Cats were sedated with dexmedetomidine...
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating mental health condition for which current treatments have long-term efficacy in 50% of patients. There is a clear need for better understanding of the mechanisms underlying PTSD and...
Sociocultural changes in the human–animal relationship have led to increasing demands for animal welfare in biomedical research. The 3R concept is the basis for bringing this demand into practice: Replace animal experiments with alternatives where...
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...
Murine translational models are an important tool to understand pain pathophysiology. One procedure used frequently in murine research is the sciatic nerve block. This study sought to demonstrate the use of ultrasound-guided sciatic nerve block...
Laboratory rodents spend the entire day housed in standard cages that provide a restricted area for movements and might, therefore, limit physical activity. However, it has not been tested in immature rodents of ages ranging...
Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a multifactorial injury process involving respiratory, cardiovascular and immune functions in addition to the brain. Thus, live animal models are needed to study the molecular, cellular and systemic mechanisms...
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease with no curative pharmacological treatment. The most used animal model of IPF for anti-fibrotic drug screening is bleomycin (BLM)-induced lung fibrosis. However, several issues have been reported...
Sepsis is defined as a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by an inappropriate host response to infection. The presence of oxidative stress and inflammatory mediators in sepsis leads to dysregulated gene expression, leading to a hyperinflammatory...
Steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (SONFH) is a condition documented in humans and animals exposed to chronic steroid administration. The rabbit has become a preferred animal model for investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of...

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