SOPs

SOP for Laboratory Assumption of the Feeding, Watering and/or Cage Changing of Rodents

Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine
Jul 1, 2022 12:00 am

To establish procedures for investigative personnel to feed and/or water the rodents used in their research projects and decline these services from ULAM husbandry.

  • Responsibility

    1. ULAM Husbandry Personnel
    2. Investigative Personnel
  • Glossary Definitions

    Lab Will Care Log

    This form serves as the log sheet for research personnel to indicate care (feed, water, cage change) provided to the animals. These are typically placed on the inside of the animal room door.

    Special Treatment or Procedure (SToP) Form

    A form that indicates special procedure differing from standard operating procedure (SOP). These are typically placed on the inside of the animal room door. See Request for Special Treatment or Procedure (SToP) Form for more information.

    Task Codes

    Codes used by lab personnel to indicate the type of care provided.

    • F: Feed provided (restricted or topped off)
    • W: Water bottle topped off
    • CW: Changed water bottle
    • CC: Cage change performed
    • S: New cage started
  • Procedures

    1. The Principal Investigator signs a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) acknowledging an understanding of the rules and stipulations related to providing care (feed, water, and caging) to rodents. See Appendix A.
    2. Investigative personnel complete a SToP Form that details:
      1. The changes in feeding, watering, and/or cage changing practice.
      2. The rationale supporting the changes.
      3. A list of preferred contact information for all relevant investigative personnel.
      4. The location of the water or diet supply in case of an emergency.
    3.  Investigative personnel complete a Lab Will Care Log that details:
      1. The special diet, water, and/or cage change requirements.
      2. The types of food and water that cannot be provided, if applicable.
      3. If HazMat collection is required.
      4. PI name
      5. Laboratory contact information.
      6. Protocol number and expiration date.
      7. Other pertinent notations, where applicable.
    4. Investigative personnel place a yellow acetate with a “Lab Will Care” sticker on each applicable cage of animals and denote the following:
      1. The aspect of care that the laboratory is responsible for, i.e., feeding, watering, or cage changing.
      2. The type of food or water that is provided.
      3. If the food or water is ad lib or restricted.
      4. The cage ID
    5. Investigative personnel:
      1. Administer food and/or water to animals per SToP form specifications (i.e., restricted or non-restricted).
      2. Check animals daily for presence of food and/or water if restricted.
        1. Check animals at appropriate intervals for the presence of food and/or water if not restricted.
      3. Change cages as outlined in Rodent Equipment Maintenance and Sanitization SOP.
    6. Investigative personnel record on the Lab Will Care Log when care is provided and include for each entry:
      1. Date
      2. Cage ID #
        1. Multiple cage IDs can be listed in a single entry if the same care is provided to each cage.
      3. Task code
      4. Initials of the person performing the task.
    7. ULAM husbandry personnel evaluate rodents as documented in the Mouse and Rat Husbandry SOP.
      1. ULAM husbandry personnel contacts investigative personnel requesting documentation reflect tasks completed if no documentation has been noted on the Lab Will Care Log but it is clear that the tasks have been completed.
      2. Rodents without food or water or are low on food or water:
        1. Check the Lab Will Care sticker for indication of a restriction to food or water.
          1. ULAM husbandry personnel do not need to contact the laboratory if documentation on the Lab Will Care Log has occurred within the past 24 hours.
          2. ULAM husbandry personnel contact the laboratory if documentation has not occurred within the past 24 hours and include:
            1. The rack and slot number of cage(s) needing attention.
            2. A cut off time for when the investigative personnel must respond by before husbandry personnel take appropriate action.
          3. ULAM husbandry personnel provide food/water if investigative personnel CAN be reached but the cage has not been fed/watered by the following day.
            1. Locate, identify, and provide special feed/water (noted on SToP form) to the animals.
              1. Provide commercial rodent chow (Lab Diet #5LOD) and/or regular water if the laboratory’s special food/water cannot be located or identified.
            2. Place a yellow acetate in the vertical (“up”) position in the cage card holder and record “ULAM  (fed or watered) at [date/time]”.
              1. Remove the acetate after 72 hours.
            3. Record “ULAM (fed or watered) at [time] using [note type of food or water]" on the lab Will Care Log and include the affected cage ID’s.
            4. Charge technician time per the Technical Time Charge Report SOP
          4. ULAM husbandry personnel provide food/water if investigative personnel CANNOT be contacted by 2:00 PM Monday through Friday or 10:30 AM on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.
            1. Follow steps 6.b.i.3.a-d
      3. Rodents found in cages that are ¼ wet or more but no standing water:
        1. ​​​​​​​ULAM husbandry personnel contact the laboratory and include:
          1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A rack number and slot number of cage(s) needing changed.
          2. A cut off time for when the investigative personnel must respond by before husbandry takes appropriate action.
        2. ULAM husbandry personnel perform the cage change if investigative personnel CAN be reached but the cage has not been changed by the following day.
          1. Place a yellow acetate in the vertical (“up”) position in the cage card holder and record “ULAM changed cage at [date/time]".
            1. Remove the acetate after 72 hours.
          2. Record “ULAM CC” at [time]” on the Lab Will Care Log and include the affected cage ID’s.
          3. Charge technician time per the Technical Time Charge Report SOP
        3. ULAM husbandry personnel perform the cage change if investigative personnel CANNOT be contacted by 2:00 PM on Monday through Friday or 10:30 AM on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.
          1. Follow steps 6.c.ii.1-3
        4. ​​​​​​​ULAM husbandry personnel perform the cage change immediately if cage has standing water.
          1. ​​​​​​​Follow steps for handling flooded cages as outlined in the Mouse and Rat Husbandry SOP.
          2. Follow steps 6.c.ii.1-3.
    8. Separation of a Lab Will Care cage (overcrowded conditions, fighting, weaning, etc.): 
      1. ULAM husbandry personnel ensure the new cage conditions (bedding, food, water, enrichment, etc.) are identical to original cage.
        1. Follow procedures outlined in 6.b if food or water is restricted.
        2. Place a yellow Lab Will Care acetate, copying the information from the original cage acetate, minus the Cage ID.
        3. Email to the laboratory contacts listed on the associated SToP form and include:
          1. The location of the new cage
          2. Whether the new cage needs special food or water added
          3. The need for a new Cage ID
  • Appendix A: Memorandum of Understanding - Lab Assumes Care

  • Appendix B: Lab Will Care Log

Species: Rats Mice
Questions?

Questions or concerns about the content of this document should be directed to the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) at (734) 764-0277 or ulam-questions@umich.edu.