Animal Care and Use

Fill Out A Green Card – Rodent Surgery

Post-Surgical Monitoring Records

Completed by: Surgeon/Lab staff

Purpose: Document adequate provision of post-operative care, analgesics, and monitoring. Demonstrates compliance with anesthesia, analgesic, and monitoring components of the IACUC protocol

When to Use: Required for all survival surgery procedures. May be required for prolonged anesthesia exposure or other painful procedures.

How to Complete the Card (Top Half)

  1. Use the PI name where the animals are currently housed. If you are performing a procedure for a collaborator, use the PI name of the sending lab. If the animals have been transferred to and are housed on your protocol, use your PI name.
  2. Use the protocol number where the animals are currently housed. If you are performing a procedure for a collaborator, use the protocol number of the sending lab. If the animals have been transferred to and are housed on your protocol, use your protocol number.
  3. Procedure Name: Use the surgery (or procedure name) of the activity approved on your protocol.
  4. Date: The date is the date of surgery.
  5. Surgeon: List the name of the individual performing the surgery or procedure
  6. Number of animals
  7. Identify the species by circling “mouse” or “rat”
  8. Emergency Contact: List the name of the individual to be contacted in case of an emergency. This person may be the same as or different than the surgeon.
  9. Emergency Phone: List a phone number where the veterinarian can reach you after business hours. Preferably a cell number and not an office or lab number.
  10. List the anesthesia agent(s) used. If you use a cocktail or mixture, list both agents. For example: Ketamine/xylazine; Ket/Xyl/Ace; Ket/Xyl/Medetomidine
  11. Enter the time the procedure was completed and post-operative analgesics administered (if any). This should be a cage specific entry and not the end time for all procedures performed that day.
  12. Complete the analgesic table with any pre-operative analgesics (like Buprenorphine SR, lidocaine, Marcaine, bupivacaine). Enter the dose (in mg/kg). These drugs are typically administered a single time so those fields are completed.
  13. Complete the analgesic table with any additional pre-operative analgesics and all post-operative analgesics. If you are administering any other drugs, list them here. Enter the dose (in mg/kg). Enter the frequency of administration in times per day. The final column is the number of days. For example: If you are administering injectable carprofen 3 times a day for 2 days, the frequency column would read “3” and the duration column would be “2”.
  14. Certify that the procedures you are using are approved in your IACUC protocol by checking the box provided.

How to complete the Monitoring Section (bottom half):

DCM staff members will perform the regularly scheduled observation checks to assess food, water, and bedding. These observations do not count as post-operative monitoring. A separate observation for post-operative activity and signs of pain is performed by the laboratory staff. Document your post-operative monitoring activities using the table below the solid black line.

Follow the monitoring plan approved in your protocol. If the protocol states once a day for 7 days, the green card should have 7 entries. Use the back of the card if necessary. Consult your protocol to determine what monitoring schedule you are required to use. If you have questions, please contact the veterinary or QA/QI staff.

  1. Record the date the monitoring was completed. Select an activity level by circling the appropriate letter. (A) for active animals demonstrating normal behaviors. (I) for inactive mice and (M) for moribund.
  2. If you have circled (I) or (M) in the Activity column, select an outcome in the Resolution column. Circle (E) for euthanasia or circle (DCM) if the veterinary staff was consulted. Addition details may be listed on the back of the card in the comments section.
  3. Indicate if analgesics were administered. Circle “Yes” if analgesics were provided. Circle “No” if the animals were only monitored. For example: If you administered a sustained release formulation (Buprenorphine SR) at the time of surgery, you would select “No” in the analgesics administered column. Select “Yes” only if signs of pain were observed and additional analgesics were administered.
  4. Enter the initials of the individual completing the monitoring
  5. Enter the time monitoring was completed. And circle “AM” or “PM”. If you are required to monitor twice a day, please remember to check on your animals at least 4 hours apart. If you perform surgery in the morning, the first monitoring time point documented on the green card should be at the end of that day.
  6. Sutures and staples should be removed once the wound is healed, between day 7 and day 10. Enter the date when sutures/staples are removed. If the animals were euthanized before day 7-10 or you used an alternative (wound glue), enter N/A.
  7. Use the back of the card for comments about inactive/moribund animals or when additional monitoring time points are required by the approved protocol.
  8. Cards are removed from the cage when sutures are removed or the wound is healed. Cards must be kept on file for 6 months.

Helpful Tools:

Pre-printed stickers or labels can be used if labs do not want to complete the top portion of the card by hand. Sticker templates are available on the IACUC website.

High volume labs may propose alternative documentation plans. Alternative methods must be approved by the IACUC.

Download the Green Card Instructions (PDF)