Van Loo, P., Skoumbourdis, E., Reinhardt, V. 2006. Postsurgical pairing: a discussion by the Refinement & Enrichment Forum. Animal Technology and Welfare 5(1), 17-19.
Our experience-based discussion suggests that social animals benefit from compatible companionship during post-operative recovery. The traditional practice of keeping animals alone in an unfamiliar environment after surgery increases the subjects surgery-associated stress. Providing a familiar, compatible companion is likely to alleviate the stress and enhance the post-surgical recovery process. It is my experience with rhesus macaques that it is advisable to pair an animal after surgery as soon as possible with his or her compatible companion. We did this especially with animals after one of them had head cap implant surgery. It was the investigator's and my own subjective feeling that the animals recover better from the surgery stress when their familiar companion is with them than when they are alone.