Animal Identification

John Donovan1, Patricia Brown2

1 Wyeth‐Ayerst Research, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, 2 National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Unit Number:  Appendix 4E
DOI:  10.1002/0471142301.nsa04es27
Online Posting Date:  September, 2004
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Abstract

Proper identification of animals is crucial in research, whether the animals are being used as experimental subjects, for breeding purposes, or as a source for tissues, cells, or fluids. This unit provides specific protocols for the ear punch (notch) and ear tag methods for mouse, rat and hamster; tattoos for mouse, rat and rabbit; and the correct use of a subcutaneous transponder system for all of the above species.

Keywords: identification; mouse; rat; hamster; rabbit; tag; transponder; tattoo; notch

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Basic Protocol 1: Ear Notch or Punch for Mouse, Rat, and Hamster
  • Basic Protocol 2: Ear Tag for Mouse, Rat, and Hamster
  • Basic Protocol 3: Tattoo for Mouse and Rat
  • Basic Protocol 4: Tattoo for the Rabbit
  • Basic Protocol 5: Subcutaneous Transponder for Mouse, Rat, Hamster, and Rabbit
  • Commentary
  • Key References
  • Figures
     
 
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Materials

Basic Protocol 1: Ear Notch or Punch for Mouse, Rat, and Hamster

  Materials
  • Ear punch—either hole (National Band and Tag) or notch (Harvard Apparatus)

Basic Protocol 2: Ear Tag for Mouse, Rat, and Hamster

  Materials
  • Ear tags (National Band and Tag)

Basic Protocol 3: Tattoo for Mouse and Rat

  Materials
  • Micro‐tattooing forceps (Ketchum Manufacturing)
  • Green tattoo paste (Ketchum Manufacturing)
  • 25‐ to 30‐G, 0.5‐in. needles

Basic Protocol 4: Tattoo for the Rabbit

  Materials
  • Ketamine/xylazine solution ( appendix 4B)
  • 70% ethanol
  • Gauze sponge or swab
  • Tattoo machine (Animal Identification and Marking Systems)
  • Additional reagents and equipment for anesthesia ( appendix 4B)

Basic Protocol 5: Subcutaneous Transponder for Mouse, Rat, Hamster, and Rabbit

  Materials
  • 70% ethanol
  • Gauze sponge or swab
  • 12‐G implantation device loaded with sterilized transponders, and associated receiving unit (BioMedic Data Systems or AVID Identification Systems)
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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

Key References
   Ball, D.J., Argentieri, G., Krause, R., Lipinski, M., Robinson, R.L., Stoll, R.E., and Visscher, G.E. 1991. Evaluation of a microchip implant system used for identification in rats. Lab. Anim. Sci. 41:185‐186.
  Provide additional details on animal identification methods.
   Fox, J.G., Anderson, L.C., Lowe, F.M., and Quimby, F.W. (eds.) 2002. Laboratory Animal Medicine, 2nd ed., pp. 179‐180. Academic Press, San Diego.
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