The central mission of the Office of Veterinary Resources (OVR) is to support research projects using animals, however, this support must be accomplished while maintaining full compliance with legal and ethical guidelines. Both the Animal Welfare Act and the Department of Health and Human Services have written, minimum “standards” for providing care before, during and after surgical procedures. Scientists are required to be familiar with regulations and policies relevant to the conduct of surgery prior to the conduct of surgical procedures.

A project that involves more than momentary or slight pain or distress must involve the veterinarian in the planning stage


  • Adequate surgical skills
  • Strict adherence to procedures to ensure aseptic results
  • Knowledge of the species anatomy, physiology, pharmacology
  • Appropriate administration of both anesthetics and analgesics
  • Perioperative program to optimize recovery and provide for the patient’s well-being

Principles of Preoperative Management

  • Major vs. Minor Surgery
  • Rodent Surgery
  • Animal health, conditioning & stress
  • Proper handling and restraint

Principles of Perioperative Management

  • Instrument sterilization
  • Animal preparation
  • Surgeon preparation
  • Principles of Good Surgical Technique

Principles of Anesthetic Management

  • Basic Elements of General Anesthesia
  • Selection Criteria
  • Guidelines for the use of Analgesics
  • Intraoperative patient support and monitoring
  • Antimicrobial prophylaxis

Principles of Postoperative Care

  • Recovery from anesthesia
  • Acute postoperative care
  • Long term postoperative care
  • Disposition of animals