Filby, E. 2019. Give us a break! Animal Technology and Welfare 18(1), 45-48.
Literature is replete with studies on stressors to laboratory rodents; knowing the impact research and husbandry interventions, such as routine cage changing, have on rodents’ stress levels, physiology and behaviour, we hypothesised that animals recovering in a familiar environment would have an improved recovery compared to those recovering in a clean cage. Using weight as an indicator, our studies proved a home cage provides a better recovery environment than a clean one. Habituated animals were above their pre-surgery weight a week later whereas animals returned to a barren cage lost most weight overall and were still below their pre-surgery weight seven days post-operatively.