Standard Operating Procedure for Mouse Colony Husbandry

Clidox Preparation

  • Mixed as a 1:5:1 dilution (1 part base, 5 parts water, 1 part activator).
  • Prepared once per week.
  • Use in squeeze bottle or spray bottle.
  • Properly label bottle.
  • To be used as hand and surface disinfectant.
  • Sign-up sheet; initial; 1 bottle per room.

Receiving New Animals

  • Spray boxes with Clidox before entry into GTTF.
  • Boxes are sprayed a second time in Laminar Flow Hood.
  • Examine overall exterior condition of box.
  • Check receiver information with label on box.
  • Check contents on box ( ex: correct strain, sex and overall health).
  • Notify CCM office of any problems.
  • Follow special husbandry procedures on receiver.
  • House mice appropriately (CCM standard operating procedures).
  • Complete receiver (number of mice received and number of cages).
  • Add total number of cages to inventory sheet.
  • Bring receiver to CCM office.

Use of Shoe Covers

  • Shoe covers need to be changed when exiting or entering the GTTF hallway.

Changing Cages (Micro-Isolators)

  • Alternate major change/partial major change every other week.
  • A minor change being the second change for the week.
  • Add a nestlet if cage does not contain nesting material.
  • Shelf racks replaced every four weeks.

Sterile Procedures for Entering Cages

  • New Clidox prepared every week (1:5:1 dilution).
  • Soak cotton cloth with Clidox; wipe interior of Laminar Flow Hood.
  • Discard cloth; wait five minutes.
  • Wet a new cotton cloth with Clidox and leave in hood for disinfecting hands in between cages (continually soaking cloth).
  • Place sterile cage under hood.
  • Remove cage top; place to one side.
  • Wipe hands on Clidox cloth.
  • Enter into sterile micro-environment.
  • Check water bottle level; level should not be full; level should be at bottom of neck of bottle.
  • Remember that inside cage components are sterile; outside cage components are considered dirty; NEVER LET OUSIDE COMPONENTS TOUCH INSIDE STERILE ENVIRONMENT.

Daily Cage Monitoring

  • Observe animal health.
  • Check feed and water levels.
  • Change cages that appear wet or flooded.
  • Report any births, sick or dead animals to colony management staff.

Special Feeding Requirements

Necessary for weanlings and young C57Bl/6, Transgenics, Malocclusions and overall "sick" mice:

  • Place a sterile Petri dish with autoclaved granular Harlan 7012 diet on floor of cage.
  • Replace as needed.
  • Put a yellow "monitor food" card on cage.
  • Gel food may be added to cage in a sterile Petri dish for mice that appear dehydrated.

Pregnant Mice

  • Place a "please separate" card on cage for harem mating units.
  • Colony management staff will separate females and provide a nestlet.
  • Do not change cage two days before birth.
  • Do not change cage until pups are at least three days old.
  • Pups are transferred into clean cage with previous nestlet if not excessively soiled.
  • Place food on cage bottom.

Recording Litters

  • Note date of litter on birth card.
  • Write "wean" date; 21 days from birth date.
  • Inform Colony Management staff of new litters or missing litters.
  • Turn card around to "please wean" at 21 days.
  • Don't count litter number until day three or more.
  • If litter needs to be fostered notify Colony Management staff of birth.


  • Sterile supplies and caging may be brought into the GTTF and rolled across sticky mats.
  • Upon returning from the pass-through room shoe covers are taken off before walking through GTTF corridor and discarded.

Cleanliness of Work Area

  • Clean Laminar Flow Hood after use with Clidox then 70 percent alcohol.
  • Sweep floor after changing cages.
  • Mop floor with Quatricide weekly.
  • Clean sinks and counters weekly.
  • Maintain GTTF hallway weekly.
  • Check operational function of air purifiers in Procedure Rooms.
  • Change wall filters every three months.
  • Sanitize rooms every six months.
  • Pull sticky mats daily.
  • Racks placed in hallway for removal of dirty cages.

Exiting Dirty Supplies To Washroom

  • Cover all caging.
  • Remove plastic bags from water bottles.
  • Leave dirty caging at end of GTTF hallway; do not exit caging until you are finished with daily husbandry work.
  • Once cages are sent outside of GTTF double-doors; remove shoe covers before walking down clean corridor.

Supplies Entering Facility

  • All items enter at East Dock end of hallway.
  • Spray with Clidox 1:5:1 dilution.
  • Whenever possible wait 48 hours before bringing into facility.

Contributed by Kelly Hoyt.