Animal Health

Anesthesia and Analgesia

Knowing and using the appropriate anesthetics and analgesics is a critical aspect of the proper care and use of animals in research. This section includes a formulary, which lists dosages for many of the more commonly used anesthetics and analgesics, and is meant as a guide during protocol preparation.

Animal Transfer

Learn the procedures to follow when animals are transferred within a facility, between protocols or PIs, between facilities, or coming from/going to another institution.

Animal Transport

Plan animal transportation to minimize transit time, address occupational health risks, and protect the animals.

Controlled Substances

Know your obligations under state and federal law for managing controlled substances. RARC provides some general guidance.

Expired Materials

Learn the rules for disposing expired substances and find out how to implement a colored dot system to help you to abide by regulations.


To demonstrate appropriate levels of animal care and sanitation, staff responsible for husbandry must keep records. Learn the general records requirements and what should be recorded daily or at other intervals.

Medical Records

Learn how to keep medical records that convey necessary information to all people involved in an animal’s care and that aid in evaluating research outcomes.

Mouse Colony Management

Principal investigators who want to breed their own colonies can get started with RARC colony management guidelines.

Normative Data

Get normative data for various species.

Pain and Distress: Assessment and Treatment

Preventing distress and pain in research animals is of prime importance, from both a humane and a research standpoint. Learn how to assess and treat pain and distress.

Rodent Facility Designation

RARC assigns a number designation to all facilities that house rodents based on the facility's known rodent pathogen status, sentinel rodent testing strategy, and quarantine capability/disease response plan.

The Rules We Live By

Institutions and individuals using animals for research, teaching, and/or testing must acknowledge and accept both legal and ethical responsibility for the animals under their care, as specified by regulations.


Operate a safe research environment with the help of several UW-Madison standing committees.


Learn the standards for aseptic surgery and postsurgery monitoring. (Surgery records are addressed under Medical Records.)

Veterinary Care

RARC laboratory animal veterinarians oversee the health and well-being of UW-Madison research animals.