SMPH Policy Number: 14

Policy Title: Oocyte Harvest in Frogs


  • The number of laparotomies on frogs to obtain oocytes should be conditional upon the health of an individual animal, quality of the oocytes obtained, the age of the animal, the probable duration of egg production, and the pain or distress experienced by an individual animal.
  • There is no set maximum number of surgeries allowed on a particular frog, unless no oocytes are present for two consecutive surgeries, In this case, the frog can no longer be used for oocyte collection.
  • Frogs must be allowed to recover for at least 4 weeks between surgeries.
  • Surgeries on individual frogs should alternate between left and right ovaries.
  • Waivers of the number of surgeries and/or the length of the recovery time between surgeries may be granted on an exceptional basis by the ACUC for compelling scientific reasons.
  • All recovery surgery procedures must be performed by trained personnel using aseptic techniques and anesthesia appropriate for amphibians.
  • There is no evidence demonstrating appropriate analgesia with hypothermia in amphibians, although the animal may become torpid. Therefore, ice or ice water is not permissible as the sole anesthetic agent.
  • Post-surgical care of laparotomized animals should include single housing or small group housing for at least 3-days. During this time the frogs should be monitored daily for appetite as well as any complications such as dehiscence or infection. Such adverse effects would be reasons for immediate euthanasia.

Role of the Investigator:

The investigator must include a written description in the animal protocol of the proposed procedures, and ensure that their laboratory staff follows the approved procedures.

Role of the Veterinary Staff and Biomedical Research Model Services:

If any animal develops unexpected clinical complications, including death, the veterinary staff must be notified in a timely way. Diagnosis and treatment of unanticipated complications are the responsibility of the attending veterinarian in consultation with the investigator. Animals that die unexpectedly during or after surgery or are euthanized because of post-surgical complications should be submitted for necropsy. Postmortem examinations may be performed at the discretion of the veterinary staff at no charge to the investigator.

ACUC Oversight:

The ACUC shall review proposed protocols for conformity to these guidelines, and enforce compliance.


Oocyte Harvesting in Xenopus Laevis. 2001 revision. ARAC Guidelines

Oocyte Surgery

Green, S.L. Overview: Factors Affecting Oogenesis in the South African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis). Comparative Medicine 2002 August; 52(4): 307-312


Approved: August 2005