Veterinary Care

RARC laboratory animal veterinarians oversee the health and well-being of research animals at UW-Madison. The chancellor endorses and affirms their authority through the Veterinary Authority Letter. Members of the veterinary staff are specialty-board certified and have extensive experience.

Animal Care

RARC veterinarians developed the animal health surveillance programs at UW-Madison and work closely with managers of campus husbandry programs to ensure a high standard of care. They advise researchers on species-specific enrichment and appropriate housing and the potential impact of these factors on research. They also help researchers define and manage deviations from normal animal health and train researchers, students, and personnel who work with animals.

Institutional Oversight

RARC veterinarians work to achieve and maintain compliance with animal care and use regulations put forth by the U.S. government and other regulating bodies. They serve on Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees as voting members and educate committee members and the public. In an effort to streamline the protocol review process, veterinarians work closely with investigators: they advise and assist with protocol design, anesthesia and analgesia, technique development, feasibility of a new model, and the determination of animal numbers.

Collaborative and Independent Research

RARC veterinarians also do their own research and are involved in collaborative projects with other UW investigators across a variety of disciplines. Basic and translational topics include the study of animal diseases, animal models of human disease, computer modeling, and the development of procedural and surgical techniques.

RARC veterinary technicians provide specialized support to the campus veterinary care program, helping UW-Madison to stay on the cutting edge of research medicine. They offer a range of services, including:

Clinical Care

Assisting veterinarians in the daily clinical care of research animals on and off campus:
  • Medical records creation and maintenance
  • Medical treatment and nursing care
  • Preventative medicine (vaccinations, exams, TB testing, dental prophylaxis)
  • Sick animal examination and treatment (in consultation with staff veterinarians, PI/lab staff )
  • In-house diagnostic testing
  • Sample-collecting for off-campus testing
  • Procedure rooms and laboratory maintenance

Vivarium Support and Oversight

  • USDA, NIH, and AAALAC International standards maintenance

Research Support

  • Handling and restraint assistance and training
  • Rodent colony management and breeding guidance
  • Rederivation assistance, including superovulation and tissue collection
  • Medical record-keeping education
  • Anesthesia monitoring and support

Colony Health Surveillance

  • Rodent health surveillance
  • Water quality testing
  • Rodent quarantine maintenance for investigators receiving animals from other institutions
  • Nonvivarium animal husbandry oversight

Environmental Enrichment


Animal Transfer