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. 
Tricaine, or MS-222, is the most commonly used chemical anesthetic in zebrafish research. It is thought to act via blocking voltage-gated sodium channels, though its mechanism of action, particularly at the neuronal level, is not...
OBJECTIVE: To perform a retrospective, multicenter observational study that compares the agreement of rectal temperature with the temperature measured with noncontact infrared thermometer (NCIT) in a population of dogs and cats. ANIMALS: 168 dogs and...
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...
Zebrafish are frequently used as a means to investigate development. These studies increasingly require repeated anaesthesia of zebrafish during juvenile (i.e. metamorphic) stages. The effects of anaesthesia during this time remain poorly studied. The aim...
Research to assess the relationship between cats and humans is in a nascent stage. Some studies have assessed the stress status in cats using physiological indicators, such as the cortisol hormone, but have not focused...
Introduction: Transport to the clinic is a major source of stress for cats. The process involves being put into a carrier, driven in a car and handled. Cats are therefore removed from the safe-haven of...
Chronic exposure to stressful environments can negatively impact cats' health and welfare, affecting behavioral, autonomic, endocrine, and immune function, as with cats in shelters. Low-stress handling practices likely improve shelter cat welfare, but data supporting...
The use of proper anesthesia in zebrafish research is essential to ensure fish welfare and data reliability. However, anesthesia long-term side effects remain poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to assess anesthesia quality...
The standard method of obtaining body temperature in a bird can be a stressful event, making routine evaluations challenging. Twenty-eight privately owned birds in good health were enrolled in the study to compare digital and...
As pets are considered members of the family, their health has received widespread attention. Since pets cannot talk and complain when they feel uncomfortable, monitoring vital signs becomes very helpful in disease detection, as well...
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...
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...
The purpose of this study was to compare the safety and efficacy of buffered tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222) and isoeugenol for the anesthesia of zebrafish undergoing caudal fin clipping. Eighty 9 mo Danio rerio (AB strain)...
Songbirds are kept as pets around the world, and bird-singing contests occur in several countries. However, there is a lack of scientific support for songbird welfare and stress monitoring. Thus, we aimed to validate the...
Stress in teleosts is an increasingly studied topic because of its interaction with growth, reproduction, immune system and ultimately fitness of the animal. Whether it is for evaluating welfare in aquaculture, adaptive capacities in fish...
In this review, we focus primarily on the refinement of common methods used in fish research based on emerging knowledge with the aim of improving the welfare of fish used in scientific studies. We consider...
The number of fish used in research has increased in the last decades. Anaesthesia is required when fish must be held immobile and it is crucial to promote fish welfare, because these vertebrates can show...
Since the use of the zebrafish Danio rerio genetic model organism within the scientific research community continues to grow rapidly, continued procedural refinement to support high-quality, reproducible research and improve animal welfare remains an important...
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the anesthetic and cardiorespiratory effects of IM alfaxalone and isoflurane administration in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and compare use of these agents with use of manual restraint. ANIMALS 42 healthy budgerigars. PROCEDURES For...
Two healthy research cats involved in a randomized, blinded prospective pharmacodynamics study evaluating midazolam continuous-rate infusion as a means to decrease sevoflurane concentrations experienced unexpectedly prolonged recoveries. Midazolam loading doses, infusion rates, and the targeted...
Non-invasive monitoring of the heart rate allows measuring the condition of the chick embryo in the incubation process without negative consequences for the future chick. The optical method for registering heartbeats is available to a...
Thoracic CT can provide additional diagnostic information in comparison to thoracic radiography for animals with respiratory diseases; however, the requirement of general anaesthesia can be of risk and may not be possible in cats with...
Often few alternative anesthetics for exotic species are available, due to the small numbers of these animals used in research. In this study, we evaluated the depth and duration of anesthesia in Xenopus laevis after...
For humans and for non-human primates heart rate is a reliable indicator of an individual’s current physiological state, with applications ranging from health checks to experimental studies of cognitive and emotional state. In humans, changes...

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