Van Loo, P. L. P., Kuin, N., Sommer, R. et al. 2007. Impact of 'living apart together' on postoperative recovery of mice compared with social and individual housing. Laboratory Animals 41(4), 441-455.
We investigated whether housing two female mice in a cage, separated by a grid partition ('living apart together') counters the adverse effects of individual housing on postoperative recovery. Results indicated that socially housed mice appear to be less affected by abdominal surgery than individually housed mice, as indicated by heart rate and behaviour. Living apart together', however, did not appear to be beneficiary to the mice. Increased hear rate levels and differences in behaviour as compared with both socially housed and individually housed animals indicate that living apart together may even be the most stressful of the three housing conditions. We therefore conclude that mice benefit most from social housing after surgery. If, however, social housing is not possible, individual housing appears to be a better option than separating mice by a grid partition.