Frequently Asked Questions

- NEW TO DCM? - I have a special project that I need help with, who can I contact?

DCM’s professional staff offers considerable expertise to support your specialized projects. Feel free to contact us with your questions.  

- NEW TO DCM? - I’m just starting out, who can I contact for questions?

DCM offers considerable expertise and support for your in-vivo project, please feel free to contact us. Veterinary staff are available for consultation if you are new to the Faculty or do not have in-vivo experience. Veterinary staff can provide an overview of all necessary approvals required for your projects and assist you through the process. For technical support, feel free to get in touch with any of our veterinary staff, managers or supervisors. For an overview of what you will need to do to get started, please visit our ‘New to Us’ webpage.  

- NEW TO DCM? - What facilities does the Division of Comparative Medicine have to offer?

DCM administers two animal facilities located in the Medical Sciences Building (MSB) and the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR). Both facilities are stand alone, offering a full complement of holding, procedural, surgical, laboratory, necropsy, CL2 and cage processing space. Standard holding and procedural space includes biological safety cabinets or laminar flow hoods for animal handling. Surgical areas are outfitted with anesthetic and monitoring equipment, microsurgical instrumentation and microscopes. The facility’s laboratories offer a CO2 incubator, centrifuges, fume hoods, a -30C and -80C freezer as well as diagnostic equipment. Imaging modalities include high resolution x-ray, bioluminescence, fluorescence, DEXA and bone density testing.      

  • MSB vivarium:  a 38,000ft² multipurpose SPF facility 
  • CCBR vivarium:  a 25,000ft² rodent only SPF facility operated at a high biosecurity level, including:
    •  a CL3 in-vivo unit
    •  a germ-free core with capacity for generation of germ-free or gnotobiotic strains of interest

- NEW TO DCM? - What is comparative medicine?

Comparative medicine is a discipline within experimental medicine concerned with the study of mechanistic questions of diseases common to humans and animals. The discipline includes the development and validation of animal models to study the etiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of human and animal diseases. Comparative medicine also includes the study of the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, epidemiology, prevention and treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases affecting laboratory animal species.

- NEW TO DCM? - What services does the Division of Comparative Medicine have to offer?

  • In-vivo expertise: consulting on model selection & development, experimental design,   protocol review, biomethodology, anesthesia and analgesia, experimental surgery 
  • Surgical support: surgical modeling & assistance, anesthesiology, sterilization, instrumentation, and equipment 
  • Technical support: blood and tissue sampling, administration of compounds via various routes,  colony management, identification, tissue collection, supportive care, health assessment and monitoring
  • Training: biomethodology, anesthesiology, surgery, CL2 and CL3 practices, chemical safety, ethics & regulatory framework, environmental variables with impact on research, biosafety
  • Imaging: x-ray, bioluminescent, fluorescent modalities with bone density testing 
  • CL3 in-vivo unit
  • CL2 suites
  • Germ free/gnotobiotic core
  • Diagnostics: Clinical pathology and histopathology
  • Polyclonal antibody production

ANIMAL USE PROTOCOL QUESTIONS - Do I have to renew my protocol every year?

Yes. The Canadian Council on Animal Care mandates yearly review of Animal Use Protocols by local Animal Care Committees in their Terms of Reference.    

ANIMAL USE PROTOCOL QUESTIONS - Does every single procedure I’m doing need to be reviewed?

If it is performed on a live animal, yes. Federal guidelines and provincial legislation requires that all procedures for which animals are used in research or teaching is subject to ethical review before the work begins. 

ANIMAL USE PROTOCOL QUESTIONS - How do I apply for review of my protocol?

Animal Use Protocols can be submitted electronically through the My Research (MR) portal. If you need to request access to My Research, contact the RAISE helpdesk.     

ANIMAL USE PROTOCOL QUESTIONS - I think one of the drugs I need for my work is a controlled substance, how do I order it?

Commonly used controlled substances include buprenorphine and ketamine. They are used as part of a balanced anesthetic plan. If your protocol contains any controlled substances, contact us to determine if you must apply for an exemption from Health Canada to use and store the drug for scientific purposes. 

BILLING & ACCOUNTS - I don’t have an account yet, how do I set one up?

Feel free to contact our business officer to set up your account. 

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