Veterinary Care Methods for Rats and Mice in Experimental Spinal Cord Injury Studies
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The incidences and causes of traumatic injury to the adult human spinal cord vary throughout the world. Regardless, spinal cord injury (SCI) similarly can result in devastating dysfunctions that lead to tremendous and long-term physical, emotional, and financial hardships not only for the survivor but also for family and friends. For these reasons, both clinical trials1,2 and experimental studies of SCI treatments are taking place. The treatments that are being investigated include ones to protect spinal cord cells or replace them, sprout or regenerate axons, improve endogenous repair mechanisms, and rehabilitate.
Advances in acute and chronic medical care have markedly improved the quality and length of the lives of persons with traumatic SCI.4–7 We feel that veterinary care of spinal cord injured animals should have no less of a goal. Moreover, spinal cord injured animals in optimal acute and chronic health are essential for successful experimental studies of SCI treatments. In this chapter, we will report veterinary care methods to optimize the health of experimental animals, particularly rats and mice, with tetraplegia or paraplegia after cervical or thoracic SCI.
KeywordsCare Cervical spinal cord injury Handling Housing Morbidity Mortality Pain Paraplegia Tetraplegia Thoracic spinal cord injury
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