Gardiner, P. 2016. Going outside ASPA guidelines. Animal Technology and Welfare 15(1), 47-52.
This article will discuss an improved and refined technique used for working and caring for a group of diabetic mice. As a team of animal technologists, academics and named veterinary surgeon, we developed a new husbandry care regime to improve the welfare of a group of Streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice that had been rendered with hypertension using Doxycyline induced genetic manipulation. As part of the study the mice were housed periodically in metabolic cages to facilitate the collection of urine samples. During initial studies we observed that when the mice were confined and isolated in the metabolic cage they showed little activity, sitting for long periods with a hunched posture and showing piloerection (raised coat hairs). We therefore revised and refined the experimental protocol with advice from our named veterinary surgeon and found with the changes in place, the mice coped far better with the experiment. These changes included raising the temperature of the metabolic cage room above the parameters specified within ASPA guidance document and enriching the metabolic cages. In addition the way the drug was given was also refined and additional post experimental care was given to the animals; importantly animal technologists and academics worked together to achieve a higher level of care for the animals which resulted in both improved animal welfare and better scientific results.