The Animal Care Facility maintains healthy animals for experiments in vision research. The Division of Animal Care serves as an interface between core participants and personnel working in the Vivarium. DAC has direct charge to insure that all federal, state and university guidelines for the care and use of animals are understood and maintained. This core unit provides daily husbandry for the animals and assures their overall welfare. This core unit provides all daily care of animals, environmental enrichment, clinical care, protocol recording keeping, building operations, and security.
The animal facility in Wilson Hall is managed by Jeremy Parker. There are three Animal Care Technicians with several years of experience attending to the daily needs of the animals. The VVRC fully funds a Veterinary Technician, Mary Feurtado, with over twenty years experience in veterinary medicine. All persons working with animals – faculty, students, research assistants are required to attend the Vanderbilt University Animal Research Training Program.
Equipment and Facilities
There are twenty-three animal rooms including a quarantine room. The animal facility has a sterile surgery room with surgery prep and recovery areas. The facility also has state of the art security with a video monitoring system and a card access system. Records are kept in a data base maintained by DAC. Equipment in the facility includes a Narcovet II and Matrix isoflurane anesthesia machines, Hallowell EMC ventilator, Surgivet Advisor monitor, Bair Hugger warming system, I-STAT clinical analyzer, Andersen EO gas sterilization unit, Pelton Crane magna-clave autoclave, digital scales, cage washer, and a closed circuit monitoring security system.
Handling and restraint of animals, breeding programs for owl monkeys, marmosets, galagos, tree shrews, and rats, husbandry and animal enrichment, preparation and autoclaving of sterile surgical packs, linen preparation, assistance in surgical manipulations including induction of anesthesia, intubation of animals, placement of indwelling catheters, and pre and post operative care.
The professional staff of the Division of Animal Care is available to consult with faculty members on many subjects related to the use of animals in research and instruction, including but not limited to grant preparation and review, and animal related research problems, techniques of animal experimentation, analgesia and anesthesia of laboratory animals, animal pathology, species characteristics, the health status of animals from various commercial sources, and health certificates required for foreign or interstate animal shipment.
Surgical assistance and pre- and post- operative technical services are available by prior arrangement. Supervision of surgical procedures is provided to assure protocols are being followed and aseptic techniques are adhered to. Technical services are also available for drug administration (e.g., intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, and intraperitoneal), sample collections (e.g., blood, urine, feces), anesthesia, animal restraint, and breeding colony management.