Peromyscus Care: FRSFM Facility

Last Review Date: December 29, 2020

I. Purpose

This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) outlines best practices associated with the daily husbandry and quarantine of Peromyscus housed at the Field Research Station Fort Missoula (FRSFM).  This procedure ensures consistent and uniform care of the animals and protects the integrity and biosecurity of campus animal housing facilities. This procedure applies to all personnel involved in the care of Peromyscus housed in disposable caging at the FRSFM.

II.  Policy

It is a LAR policy to meet or exceed all federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines and to comply with all institutional policies and procedures as they apply to the use of animals in research. All personnel must pass on-line animal training modules and attend applicable training in animal care and use, occupational health and safety, and equipment operation before performing activities outlined in this SOP.  Animal housing rooms should be entered using appropriate personal protective gear for the species and disease or hazard containment level.

III.  Transfer and Quarantine Procedures at the FRSFM

A. Transfer or Shipment of Peromyscus to the FRSFM Facility 

1.  Peromyscus may be transferred by investigators from the campus facility to FRSFM
     in an enclosed vehicle with appropriate temperature control

2.  Peromyscus caging will be placed in labeled shipping containers for transport
     between the facilities

3.  Alternatively, Peromyscus may be shipped directly from the Peromyscus Stock
     Center to the FRSFM after proper notification and paperwork provided to the LAR
     Facility Manager

4.  Shipments to the FRSFM from the Peromyscus Stock Center typically arrive at 6 am
     and must be met by a member of the Cheviron group

5.  Once animals arrive at the FRSFM, members of the Cheviron group will place the
     Peromyscus into disposable caging.  These cages are identified with appropriate
     cage cards and placed into temporary housing room  QS120 for the duration of
     their acclimation period (48 hours)

6.  Peromyscus transferred from LAR will be acclimated for 48 hours and then the
     mice will be transferred into disposable caging. The LAR microisolator caging will
     be packed into garbage bags, the exterior of the bag sprayed with Peroxigard™
     and transported back to LAR for processing

7.  Peromyscus will thereafter be maintained in disposable caging (provided by and
     at the cost of the investigator) and dirty, disposable caging is to be disposed of,
     along with soiled bedding, into the dumpster at FRSFM

B.  FRSFM Facility Quarantine Procedures

1.  Peromyscus transferred to the FRSFM facility are effectively quarantined at that
     facility, and the following conditions will apply:

a.  Peromyscus housed at the FRSFM may not return to the campus animal
     facilities without an additional quarantine period within the Health Sciences
     The facility at the expense of the investigator

b.  There will be no exceptions to the quarantine policy within the core animal
     facilities on campus

2.  Peromyscus shipped directly to the FRSFM facility from the Peromyscus Stock
     Center will not undergo any serologic or parasitic testing and will forego
     parasiticide treatments

3.  All Peromyscus, regardless of origin, are effectively quarantined when housed at
     the FRSFM facility and all personnel will abide by the following conditions:

a.  Once Cheviron Laboratory staff have returned from the FRSFM facility, they
      may not enter the campus core facilities on the same day
unless they 
      shower, change clothes and the bottom of their shoes either sprayed with
      Peroxigard™ or shoe covers are worn

b.  If entering the campus core facilities on the same day is a necessity, shoe
     covers and a disposable Tyvek suit must be worn to enter the facility (call LAR
     before arrival [406-243-4892] to ensure that PPE is ready before entering)

c.  LAR staff members who have visited the FRSFM facility in the afternoon may
     not enter any LAR housing areas upon return from the FRSFM facility

IV.  Husbandry and Care Procedures

A.  Morning observation

1.  Record room temperature

2.  Observe animals for signs of disease, illness, or injury

3.  Check to see if Peromyscus have eaten and are drinking water

4.  Note any changes in urine or fecal pellets

5.  Report any problems to the LAR facility manager or the Attending Veterinarian

B.  Daily routine

1.  Observe animals for signs of disease or illness as above

2.  Rinse and refill all water bottles daily checking to make sure lixits are free from
     debris before replacing on bottles

3.  Fill food hoppers with Envigo™ diet # 8604

4.  Sweep and mop the floor with Peroxigard™/concentrate

5.  Empty trash

6.  Replenish bedding and feed bin as needed

7.  Fill out a census sheet and initial daily log

C.  Weekend routine

1.  Follow daily routine except do not mop the floor

D.  Bedding change: Alternating weeks

1.  Follow the daily routine

2.  Place Peromyscus in a clean Rubbermaid tote with autoclaved bedding while the
     cage is being cleaned

3.  Dump dirty bedding from the cage into the garbage

4.  Add clean, autoclaved Sanichips™ and EnviroDri™ or aspen chips and
     TechFresh™ bedding into the disposable cage

5.  Acceptable enrichment includes the following

a.  TP rolls

b.  Nestlets

c.  Irradiated sunflower seeds

d.  Enviro-Dri

6.  Gently place Peromyscus back into the cage

7.  Dump and refill water bottles with fresh water; add food

8.  Take out garbage and discard in the dumpster located in front of the building

E.  Complete cage change: Alternating weeks

1.  Prepare new disposable cages with clean autoclaved bedding (listed above),
     clean feeders, clean water bottles, and new enrichment devices

2.  Acceptable enrichment includes the following

a.  TP rolls

b.  Nestlets

c.  Irradiated sunflower seeds

d.  Enviro-Dri

3.  Remove Peromyscus from the dirty cage and gently place into the clean cage
     and transfer cage card

4.  Discard dirty disposable caging in the dumpster located in front of the building


      EUTHANASIA housed in static micro-isolators may have the COMPLETE CAGE
      CHANGE DELAYED FOR UP TO 2 DAYS.  The justification includes reducing
      stress and litter mortality via cannibalism and reducing stress in experimental
      animals just prior to euthanasia and tissue harvest

F.  ASC once a month

1.  Wash walls, feed bin, sink, counters, light diffusers, floor, door, and threshold with
     Peroxigard™.  Let stand 10 minutes

2.  Rinse with clean water

3.  Dry with a paper towel if necessary

4.  Initial checklist and ASC sheets and daily log

G.  Health checks

1.  If animals housed at the FRSFM facility are to be housed longer than one month a
     monthly health check must be performed and documented on the appropriate
     form kept in a notebook located in the anteroom of the environmental chambers

2.  The date of the next expected Health Check is to be recorded on the whiteboard
     located in the anteroom of the environmental chamber (this is at the request of
     the USDA Inspector)

H.  Box and animal numbers

1.  A box count and animal count is to be recorded on the whiteboard located in
     the anteroom of the environmental chambers (this is at the request of the USDA

2.  A monthly census sheet must be filled out and returned to LAR