Health Record System

Animal medical, surgical and research records
Animal medical, surgical, and research records are a key element of a program of adequate veterinary care as it relates to the animal care and use program. The animal medical, surgical, and research record keeping system delineated herein was developed in congruence with the guidance provided by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (2007. Medical Records for Animals Used in Research, Teaching, and Testing: Public Statement from the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine; ILAR Journal 48(1):37-41).

Medical records: Regarding the development of spontaneous disease (e.g. disease other than experimentally induced disease such as fight wounds, spontaneous tumors, dental problems, etc.), the relevant animal observations, treatments, and disease outcome (be it disease resolution or euthanasia) are recorded in the Laboratory Animal Care Record (LACR). Should an animal be found to be in need of immediate medical attention (whether or not the disease condition was spontaneous or experimentally produced) and, if the DAR staff is unable to reach a member of the research laboratory, the University Veterinarian is authorized to act on behalf of the animal (treatment or euthanasia). Otherwise, the DAR veterinary staff would make decisions regarding treatment or euthanasia in consultation with the research lab.

A LACR will be associated with each IACUC protocol represented in the animal housing room. This record is maintained in the 3-ring binder located in the respective animal room. Blank copies of the LACRs are found in the 3-ring binder or a download listed at the top of this page. Should you observe an animal health issue, please make a notation on the LACR, place a red sticker on the appropriate cage card (red stickers are located in the3-ring binder located in the respective animal room), and contact the DAR Animal Healthcare Technician (office: 404-413-3594; mobile: 404-709-9910; e-mail: or the Attending Veterinarian (office: 404-413-3553; mobile: 404-391-7366; e-mail: In the event of an emergency please contact these individuals using their mobile phones.

Surgical records: Notations related to the conduct of surgical procedures (whether survival or non-survival) must be recorded on the “Animal Surgical Record.” This record is maintained in the 3-ring binder located in the respective animal room. Blank copies of the Animal Surgical Record are found in the 3-ring binder. You can also click here to download the document. This record may reflect the surgery of a single or multiple animals on a given day.

Research records: Notations related to disease that is experimentally induced or experimental procedures that are conducted on animals do not necessarily need to be maintained in the medical record. Rather, it is typically appropriate for this information to be retained within a research record so long as this information is readily available for review by the veterinary staff, as well as for appropriate internal (e.g., IACUC) or external (e.g., USDA, PHS, AAALAC) oversight entities. If research data pertaining to experimentally induced disease or animal procedures conducted cannot be readily retrieved from a researcher’s notebook or computerized database, then this research data should be included within the medical record (Laboratory Animal Care Record) located in the animal housing room. Examples of research data which must be documented includes the following:

1. Animal or group identification and the date of the procedure
2. Substances administered, including dose and route
3. Blood collection, euthanasia
4. Monitoring for animal pain and distress and humane endpoints consistent with the parameters approved in section 4.3 of the IACUC protocol
5. All entries in the record should be dated and indicate the originator of the
entry (e.g., initials, signature/electronic signature) and be legible to someone other than the writer
6. Regarding the administration of infectious agents in animals, DAR will provide cage cards which contain the biohazard symbol and a place to record the name of the infectious agent and the date it was administered to the animal
7. Regarding the administration of substances in the water, DAR will provide cage cards which contain a place to record the substance which has been added to the water
8. Regarding breeding rodents, DAR will provide cage cards which contain places to record relevant breeding information