Byrd, R., Boyd, S., Buckmaster, C. 2018. Rat thunder jacket— A zen experience. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 6(3) (September), 55-57.
Germ-free rats are fairly uncommon, relative to germ-free mice, and restraining these animals safely and effectively for compound administration and blood collection can be challenging. There are many commercially available varieties of restraint devices, but most of them are not optimal for use in isolators because they occupy a lot of space and present puncture risks due to their rigid and bulky design. To address these challenges, a sock restraint system was developed for use during compound administration (i.e., intraperitoneal (IP), subcutaneous (SQ), intranasal (IN), oral gavage (PO) and blood collection from the maxillary (facial) vein, common in germ-free settings. The sock is compact, soft, and easy to sterilize. Compound administration and blood collection techniques with the use of the new sock restraint were performed humanely and were very effective in eliminating stress during handling and manipulation inside the isolator. The rats were more willing to cooperate with the care staff when technical procedures were performed while in the sock restraint and demonstrated a preference to remain in the sock after the procedures were completed. Staff also started seeing less porphyrin staining and vocalizations.