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 that include earlier publications) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic, and only publications dated 2020 or later (with some exceptions that include earlier publications) can be filtered by Setting. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 

Endotracheal intubation in rabbits is challenging and supraglottic airway devices, such as laryngeal masks (LMA), represent an alternative as they are easy to insert, and do not stimulate the larynx requiring therefore a lighter plane...

Zebrafish is a valuable model for neuroscience research, but the housing conditions to which it is exposed daily may be impairing its welfare status. The use of environmental enrichment and the refinement of methodology for...

The usefulness of blood collection using venipuncture versus kissing bugs or medicinal leeches and the collection of saliva, faeces, hair, urine, and tears for measuring “immunoreactive” C (iC) concentration in Alpine ibexes was verified using...

Conducting safety evaluations of new drugs using conscious animals has been a specialty of our working group for thirty years. In this article, we review the various technical challenges and solutions dealt with over the...

Measuring energy balance and energy metabolism can provide crucial information for understanding the ecological and behavioral drivers of an animal’s energetic and physiological condition. Both urinary C-peptide (uCP) of insulin and urinary total triiodothyronine (uTT3)...

Background As a prey species, rabbits tend to hide their illnesses and injuries. Consequently, pet rabbit owners often do not notice that their pet may be suffering. Methods Data on the housing and health of...

OBJECTIVE To test whether the use of low-dose epidural anesthesia (EA) in goats undergoing lower urinary tract surgery reduces the requirements of perioperative analgesics, contributes to intraoperative hypotension, and improves postoperative comfort during the first...

This article describes the enclosure, environmental parameters, feeding, enclosure dynamics, breeding, handling, identification, and enrichment for zoo-housed black tree monitors.

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...

Glucocorticoid (GC) stress hormones are well-known for their impact on phenotypic traits ranging from immune function to behaviour and cognition. For that reason, consistent aspects of an individual’s physiological stress response (i.e. GC responsiveness) can...

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...

Morphometric data that provide information on body conditions can be used to monitor the health and well-being of animals. In laboratory animals, they can help to evaluate the stress due to experiments or treatments, following...

Physiological data can provide valuable information about the health and welfare of animals. Unfortunately, few validated assays and a lack of information on species-typical levels of circulating biomarkers for wildlife make the measurement, interpretation, and...

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 aquatic ecology, studies have commonly employed a tagging technique known as visible implant elastomer (VIE). This method has not been widely adopted by the zebrafish research community and also lacks refinement with regard to...

Thyroid hormones are essential for metabolism, energy homeostasis and reproduction. Hormones can be measured in various biological source materials: blood, feces, urine, saliva and others. The aim of our study was to verify usefulness of...

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...

In humans, inflammatory markers predict health risks. As great apes experience many similar conditions, measuring inflammation may provide valuable health information. We examined four serum inflammatory markers in zoo-housed gorillas (n = 48): albumin, CRP, IL-6, and...

Both endotracheal tubes and supraglottic airway devices appear to provide adequate unassisted ventilation in anaesthetised rabbits. However, it is highly recommended that a capnograph is used with both airway devices to monitor ventilation changes, especially...

Respirometry has become the standard method for measuring the metabolic rate of fishes. Traditionally, respirometry has required the fish to be kept in captivity and tested under controlled conditions; however, many species do not readily...

Hematology is a common tool for wildlife health assessments. Manual leukocyte counts are required in reptiles, however, disagreement between quantification methods has been observed in some chelonians. This study determined agreement between two methods of...

Research in ecology and wildlife biology remains crucial for increasing our knowledge and improving species management and conservation in the midst of the current biodiversity crisis. However, obtaining information on population status often involves invasive...

This is the 5th volume of selected discussions that took place on the electronic Laboratory Animal Refinement & Enrichment Forum between February 2016 and December 2019. The forum was created in October 2002; it allows...

Assessing and treating cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) is a growing concern for institutions housing great apes, as it is a major cause of mortality in all four taxa managed in human care. As part...

Zebrafish are an important and expanding experimental system for brain research. We describe a noninvasive electrophysiology technique that can be used in living larvae to measure spontaneous activity in the brain and spinal cord simultaneously...