How to Obtain Veterinary Care
When any person believes an animal is abnormal, sick, in discomfort, or otherwise requires aid, a request for veterinary care is placed to the Laboratory Animal Program (LAP) office. The LAP must be notified of each abnormal animal even if the investigator/instructor is a veterinarian.
For any animal displaying abnormalities, the EVPRP Centralized staff complete an AHEF (Animal Health Evaluation Form).
The AHEF lists:
- Facility and room location
- Date and time noted
- Staff reporting issue
- Investigator name
- Protocol number
- Animal ID
- Rack number
- Cage location
- Cage card ID number
- Cage information
- Issue identified
- Action taken by staff
- Response time expected by investigator
- If assistance is needed from LAP
Forms are e-mailed to the PI, the specific animal user (e.g., graduate student or other research associate), and LAP veterinary staff. Forms may be for notification purposes to monitor animals more closely or may request action from the investigative staff and/or LAP depending on the severity of the issue.
While the AHEF lists the cage location, the cage is also labeled / identified by EVPRP centralized staff using a red Health Alert card.
In the case of rodents, especially mice, the investigator often makes a decision to euthanize the animal vs. seeking veterinary care.
Facilities not part of the EVPRP Centralized group or in cases where there is an immediate concern and the email OVPR Centralized staff AHEF procedure would not be timely enough, the following procedure is used to obtain veterinary care for all abnormal, ill, or injured animals:
Normal Business Hours: Monday − Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Call the LAP office (494-9163) and tell the individual answering that you would like to request veterinary care. NOTE: Failure to call this number/calling a specific veterinarian or veterinary technician may result in veterinary care delays.
When reporting an abnormal animal, please be prepared to provide the following information:
- Animal identification
- Animal species
- Animal housing site & room number
- Investigator’s name
- Your name & the phone number where the veterinary technician / veterinarian can reach you
- Brief Description of Problem
- Based Upon Your Knowledge of The Species, Would You Consider the Problem a Medical Emergency?
Make sure a red Health Alert card (or in some instances a red LAP Identification Tag may still be used in non-centralized facilities) is placed on the animal’s enclosure. This will assist the veterinarian or veterinary technician in identifying the animal to be evaluated.
Evenings, Weekends and Holidays
Call the LAP office (494-9163) and listen to the recorded message to obtain information on how to contact the veterinarian/veterinary technician on call.
- Call the veterinarian or veterinary technician listed as the "on call" person and be prepared to provide the following information:
- Animal Identification
- Animal Species
- Animal Housing Site & Room Number
- Investigator’s Name
- Your Name & The Phone Number Where The Veterinary Technician/Veterinarian Can Reach You
- Brief Description Of Problem
- Based Upon Your Knowledge Of The Species, Would You Consider the Problem A Medical Emergency?
If you do not reach the "on call" person at home, leave a message on the home answering machine providing the same information. After leaving the message, phone the "on call" person at the cell phone number obtained from the LAP office recording.
- Make sure a red Health Alert card (or in some instances a red LAP Identification Tag may still be used in non-centralized facilities) is placed on the animal’s enclosure. This will assist the "on call" person in identifying the animal to be evaluated.
- Once a situation such as described above occurs, the laboratory animal veterinary staff member makes an appropriate decision for treatment. The situation is then followed by continuing communication(s) between the personnel involved until the health of the animal(s) is restored or until the animal is euthanized.
For the most part, veterinary care has not been routinely needed for fish. If sick fish are encountered, the animal is separated / isolated from others and / or euthanized. The Laboratory Animal Program staff would be contacted to facilitate a diagnosis, e.g., submission of specimens to the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory located on the Purdue University campus. It is rare that any unusual mortality is experienced in these areas.