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Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Guideline #5

Rodent Tail Clipping

1. References:

1.1 Tail clipping for genetic analysis:

Bonaparte, Dolores, Paolo Cinelli, Eleni Douni, Yanne Herault, Alex Maas, Pirjo Pakarinen, Matti Poutanen, Mirentxu S. Lafuente, and Ferdinando Scavizzi. "FELASA Guidelines for the Refinement of Methods for Genotyping Genetically-modified Rodents: A Report of the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations Working Group." 47.3 (2013): 134-45.

Hankenson, F CLaire, Laura M. Garzel, David D. Fischer, Bonnie Nolan, and Kurt D. Hankenson. "Evaluation of Tail Biopsy Collection in Laboratory Mice (Mus Musculus): Vertebral Ossification, DNA Quantity, and Acute Behavioral Responses." Journal of the America Association for Laboratory Animal Science 47.6 (2008): 10-18.

Jones, Carissa P., Scott Carver, and Lon V. Kendall. "Evaluation of Common Anesthetic and Analgesic Techniques for Tail Biopsy in Mice." Journal of the America Association for Laboratory Animal Science 51.6 (2012): 808-14.

 1.2 Tail clipping for blood collection

Abatan, Omorodola, Welch, Kathleen B, Nemzek, Jean A. “Evaluation of Saphenous Venipuncture and Modified Tail-clip Blood Collection in Mice”. Journal of the America Association for Laboratory Animal Science 2008 May; 47(3): 8–15.

2. Purpose/Scope:  The intent of this policy is to describe procedures required for tail tissue collection in rodents for genetic analysis and for blood sample collection, in the case where other routes of blood collection are not appropriate. This policy is intended for use by research staff approved to perform this procedure on an Animal Protocol. An exception to this Policy must be described and justified in the Animal Care and Use Protocol and approved by the full IACUC at a convened meeting.

3.Tail clipping:

3.1 Tail clipping of mice or rats without anesthesia (local or general) may be performed only once on an animal and only up to 21 days of age. This procedure is a KSU pain or distress category C.

3.2 Anesthesia is required for the animals older than 21 days of age, and thus is a KSU pain or distress category D.

3.3 Anesthesia can be in the form of a topical anesthetic such as lidocaine/prilocaine cream or general anesthesia can be utilized.

3.4 The initial amputation must be limited to the tail tip and not exceed 1mm in mice and 2mm in rats.

4. Tail clipping for genetic analysis:

4.1 If a repeated sample is needed: the sum total of tissue removed cannot exceed 5 mm of tail tissue.

4.2 If greater than 5 mm of tissue is required: post procedural analgesia is required unless adequate scientific justification for no analgesia is provided by the investigator and approved by the IACUC. This is considered a KSU pain or distress category D (alleviated pain and distress)

4.3 Tissue obtained from ear punching, as a form of identification, can also be used for analysis.

5. Tail clipping for blood collection:

5.1 Serial samples of a small volume can be obtained from a tail clip. The tail clip procedure for blood collection allows for serial collections of blood by disrupting the scab or clot of the original cut at the end of the tail. No additional amputations of the tail are permitted.

5.2. Anesthesia is not required for disruptions of the scab for subsequent blood collections.

6. In all cases of tissue removal a new sterile surgical blade or sharp sterilized pair of scissors is to be used.

7. Any deviations from the guideline concerning tail clipping will be considered and reviewed by the IACUC on a case by case basis. If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Comparative Medicine Group (CMG) at 532-5640.

8.  In all cases, bleeding must be controlled. The volume of blood obtained must adhere to the volume limits specified in the approved protocol.

9.Supersedes:  IACUC Guideline #5: Tail Clipping 07/21/2011.