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Keeping post-surgery infections away - Possible? (Oct/12/2008 )

Dear all,

If you'd remember, I am working with rats and now I wish to look at a small area of the skin (specifically the follicles). I plan to get that 2cm x 2 cm of skin and then keep them (the rats) alive for another stage. Now, is it possible to keep infection away from the site of "operation"? I'm not a vet/surgeon so I do not know post-operation procedures.

Once, you guys suggested isoflurane as anesthesia. Tell me about pentho-barbital (price-wise and ease of administration) as well as other types of anesthesia.

Also, I'd rather spare them the agony if they'd suffer after the operation and all. Please advise. [Cute rats]



The most important thing is to excise aseptic technique during surgery so that post-surgical infection can be prevented. People with surgical training usually have no problem with infection. If you have watched the movie Catch me if you can, you must remember the scene that when Frank was asked to treat an injured (burned) kid while he pretended to be a doctor, and was handled a hemostat holding a gauze pad, he put the pad to his mouth while pondering what to do next. That is a violation of the aseptic technique. Read this page may help you get a sense what aseptic techinque is. For animal surgery, it should be done by trained personel.


Thank you pcrman. Till now, I'm not sure if the staff at the histology unit is trained in operating on animals or just trained to harvest tissues for studies under the microscope. It's just that we don't want to kill the rat just for a 2x2 area of skin.