Helpful Information Sheet: Sterile Gloves for Rodent Surgery

Dec 18, 2015 2:00 pm

The information contained within this document is intended to supplement the Guidelines on the Performance of Surgery in Rodents, which require "the use of sterile, individually packaged gloves for rodent (e.g., mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc.) surgery."

  • Helpful Information to Meet the Guideline Standards

    Sterile gloves can be purchased directly from commercial suppliers.

    • Commercially available, individually packaged pairs of exam gloves are available via:
      • Amazon (; search for “sterile exam glove”)
      • eSafetySupply (; follow menu Category -> Disposable Gloves -> Latex Gloves -> Medical/Exam Grade Latex Gloves -> Sterile Gloves
    • Please note that gloves specifically manufactured for surgery are not required, but are acceptable.
    • Regular exam gloves, packaged and autoclaved with appropriate quality assurance measures to ensure sterility (e.g., autoclave tape, etc.) are also acceptable.
  • Guidance for Sterilizing Gloves for Rodent Surgeries

    The guidance below provides information on how to appropriately sterilize examination gloves.

    Supplies Needed

    • Clean latex or nitrile exam gloves
    • Paper drape material
    • Sterilization pouches
    • Autoclave indicator
    • Autoclave

    Step-by-Step Instructions

    1. Assure that autoclave is in good working order, with periodic testing, assessment, and appropriate record-keeping (review the Monitoring Effectiveness of Autoclaves document for more information)
    2. Fold the wrists of each glove up over the hand of the glove
    3. Cut drape material into rectangles to fold around each pair of gloves
    4. Wrap gloves, one pair per packet, with drape material to separate pairs of gloves or to separate gloves from instruments
    5. Place an autoclave indicator within each glove
    6. Place up to 5 pairs of gloves in each sterilization pouch, or one pair with the instruments to be used for the surgery (Note: contrary to the picture, place gloves ON TOP OF instruments to assist in maintaining sterility)





















    Autoclave gloves

    • Vacuum cycles
      • Sterilize at 121°C for 20 minutes and dry 12 minutes
      • Sterilize at 121°C for 30 minutes and dry 12 minutes
      • Sterilize at 132°C for 6 minutes and dry 20 minutes
      • Sterilize at 132°C for 3 minutes and dry 1 minute (flash cycle used only for gloves in a peel pouch -- no instruments)
    • Gravity Cycle
      • Sterilize 30 minutes and dry 10 minutes

    For more information about the preparation of surgical supplies for rodent surgery, including the use of surgical drapes and instruments, please refer to the Guidelines on the Performance of Surgery in Rodents.

Tags: U-M resource
Topic: Surgery

If you have questions or comments about this document, or about the use of sterile gloves in rodent surgery, contact ULAM Veterinary Staff at