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. 

Birds are highly social and must be paired in order to increase their welfare. Most bird species are monomorphic; therefore, molecular sexing helps provide appropriate welfare for birds. Moreover, early sex determination can be of...

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)...

Finding tools to assess the stress response which can be easily applied, are non-invasive, reliable and measured in real time is still a relevant topic in many areas of biology. Vocal characteristics and temperature of...

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...

In veterinary medicine, the gold standard for assessing body temperature is rectal temperature assessment. Considering that this procedure is stressful for many species, in particular for cats, it could be clinically important to consider an...

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...

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...

Hair can be a useful matrix to examine the hormonal status of an animal, although it is difficult to correlate the results to a specific time point. The aim of this study was to evaluate...

Welfare considerations and regulations for invertebrates have lagged behind those for vertebrates, despite invertebrates comprising more than 95% of earth’s species. Humans interact with and use aquatic invertebrates for exhibition in zoos and aquaria, as...

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...

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the sedative effects of IM administration of a high or low dose of dexmedetomidine in combination with midazolam in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). ANIMALS 20 healthy adult budgerigars. PROCEDURES In a prospective, randomized...

Monitoring wildlife stress levels is essential to ensure their quality of life in captivity or in the wild. One promising method to assess the stress response is the comeasurement of glucocorticoids (GC) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate...

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 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...

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...

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...

Invertebrates are often overlooked as laboratory animals, yet they are commonly used in toxicology, developmental, cellular and molecular biology, and radiation studies with euthanasia as an endpoint. Little is known regarding appropriate euthanasia methods for...

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...