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. 

Aspects of the laboratory are aversive to mice, such as being housed under bright lights and at temperatures below their thermal comfort, causing stress and poor welfare. While murine thermal preferences are well understood, light...

Exposure of sentinel mice to dirty bedding is commonly used in health monitoring programs to screen colonies for clinical and subclinical disease. Despite the potential stressors present in dirty bedding, including but not limited to...

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...

Gel solutions are simple to use, have a relative long shelf life and can be delivered with plastic cups or pouches. A common issue encountered by many institutions is that the gel becomes soiled quickly...

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...

Zebrafish, like all fish species, use sound to learn about their environment. Thus, human-generated (anthropogenic) sound added to the environment has the potential to disrupt the detection of biologically relevant sounds, alter behavior, impact fitness...

In conclusion, the investigations carried out up to now demonstrate that during the early stages fish show high sensitivity to many types of stressors involving an array of responses to overcome alterations that could affect...

Although nesting material is beneficial to the welfare of laboratory mice, provision of appropriate amounts may impair visualization of the mice. In anticipation of our academic research institution transitioning to providing 6 grams of nesting...

The combination of bedding substrate and nesting material within the microenvironment of mice is an important consideration for animal care programs in regard to optimizing animal wellbeing. We used 3 general or breeding mouse colonies...

Ammonia control is an important characteristic of rodent bedding materials. Among natural bedding materials, corncob bedding provides excellent ammonia control but contains estrogenic compounds and is ingested by mice. By comparison, processed cellulose bedding products...

Whether you are an animal care/husbandry technician, facility manager, or veterinarian, everyone bemoans a leaky drinking valve (often referred to as a lixit). Leaking drinking valves and flooded cages are a fairly common problem when...

This study investigated the effect of 4-d acute thermal treatments at 18 °C, 26 °C (control) and 34 °C on the nervous system of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) using a multidisciplinary approach based on behavioural...

This 30-chapter volume informs students and professionals about the behavioral biology of animals commonly housed in laboratory and other captive settings. Each species evolved under specific environmental conditions, resulting in unique behavioral patterns, many of...

The concept of the 3Rs (Refinement, Reduction and Replacement) has been used as a framework for improving the welfare of laboratory animals for the last half century. By establishing an animal-centric view on housing and...

Alcohols are commonly used in laboratory animal facilities to disinfect hands, equipment and laboratory environments. The effect on mice is unknown, so we observed male and female C57BL/6J and BALB/c mice during and after handling...

Much of the research done on aging, oxidative stress, anxiety, and cognitive and social behavior in rodents has focused on caloric restriction (CR). This often involves several days of single housing, which can cause numerous...

Little research has been conducted to examine the influence of various methods of providing nest materials—such as dispersing them, providing them as single units, or clustering them—on the behavior and welfare of group-housed mice. In...

General anesthesia induces many systemic effects, including thermoregulatory impairment and subsequent perioperative hypothermia. Due to the animals' small size, monitoring and maintaining body temperatures in laboratory rodents during anesthesia is important for successful surgical outcomes...

Light has been a crucial part of everyday life since the beginning of time. Most recently, light-emitting diode (LED) light enriched in the blue-appearing portion of the visible spectrum (465 to 485 nm), which is...

Appropriate end-points are integral to the refinement of laboratory animal experiments. Our recent experience has highlighted that ambiguity around end-points is hampering their adoption in experiments that cause severe suffering to fish. In toxicology, the...

Zebrafish are an increasingly popular model organism in many aspects of animal research; however, some aspects of their husbandry needs are quite disparate from that which most lab animal technicians are trained. Possibly the most...

One of our colony’s five guinea pigs started to develop a moderate case of pododermatitis (bumblefoot) on one paw, which staff were keen to alleviate to prevent any detrimental effects that this might have on...

There are a multitude of health monitoring techniques/ methods available. It can be difficult to know which of these to use and when to use them. This is an attempt to simplify, maximise the efficacy...

Small, tropical fish are popular companion animals and constitute a major proportion of the vertebrates used in scientific research, but little is known about how they are affected by routine husbandry practices. Manual tank cleanings...

Background: General anesthesia in rabbits is associated with higher morbidity and mortality relative to other mammalian species commonly anesthetized. Unique challenges related to endotracheal intubation (ETI) in rabbits contribute to this risk. Objective: To improve...

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