21st February 2020
Kelsey Finnie, DVM
While scientists, research staff, husbandry technicians, and others work very hard to ensure laboratory animals are well-cared for, those animals involved in research and teaching, also have access to specialized veterinarians and veterinary care 24 hours a day – 7 days a week – 365 days a year.
But what does that mean and why is it important?
Laboratory animal veterinarians provide medical care to all the animals involved in research and teaching. Because of their unique expertise and experience, laboratory animal veterinarians also serve as advocates for these animals by:
- Educating those who work with laboratory animals so that everyone who works with the animals understands the unique needs of each species, can handle them considering those needs, and can competently perform veterinary-related research procedures.
- Suggesting refinements to husbandry and research methods to reduce or eliminate potential stress or pain the animals may experience.
- Enforcing the state and federal regulations that ensure the welfare of laboratory animals.
- And so much more…
How many times have you had a question for your veterinarian? Maybe about your cat urinating outside of the litter box? What to feed your mini-pig? What size crate you should buy for your new puppy? What does it mean when your rabbit’s urine is red? Should you vaccinate your sheep? When is the best time to spay your dog? What should you do if a raccoon was in your yard with your horse?
In the research world, whether a mouse has trouble birthing her pups, a dog vomits, a sheep needs a hoof trim, or a pig has diarrhea, a veterinarian is there along with the veterinary technicians, scientists, research staff, and husbandry staff to ensure animal welfare is a priority.
Isn’t it remarkable that laboratory animals have their very own veterinarians who are always there to ensure their health and welfare are a top priority?