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Veterinary Care

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette New Iberia Research Center employs several veterinarians to provide exceptional veterinary care. The full-time veterinarians are licensed by the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine to practice in the State of Louisiana and are also accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture. Additionally, a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine heads the veterinary staff. A veterinarian is assigned to each specific animal colony area and that individual makes recommendations and provides oversight for the preventive medicine programs for the individual colonies. Additionally the program veterinarian is responsible for the clinical care of animals requiring veterinary medical attention, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Disease detection and surveillance, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and resolution
  • Handling and restraint: utilization of appropriate anesthetics, sedatives, analgesics, and methods of euthanasia
  • Surgical and post-surgical care 
  • Promotion of animal physical and psychological well-being through the Plan for Environmental Enhancement and Behavioral Management
  • Oversees adequacy of husbandry program
  • Involved in the review and approval of all animal care and use
  • Training of institutional staff in the care and use of laboratory animals
  • Assists in establishment and/or monitoring of occupational health and safety program
  • Assists in monitoring for zoonotic diseases
  • Advises on and monitors biohazard control policies and procedures relevant to the animal care and use program.

Diagnostic equipment available for use at the Center includes a Continental TM40 radiographic unit with automatic processor and computer imagery for diagnostic enhancement and an Aloka SSD 5000 and portable Aloka SSD 500V and probes, including doppler capabilities ultrasound sonogram equipment. A centrally located surgical suite is available as well as a special procedures unit equipped with the following:

  • Anesthesia Units
  • Life Support Monitors
  • Endoscopes with video monitors and color photo printer
  • Electrocardiograph Units
  • Defibrillators
  • Laparoscope with a High Intensity Light Source, Digital Camera, and Digital Enhancer
  • Electrosurgical Generator and Accompanying Instrumentation
  • Apheresis Unit
  • Pulse-oximeter/capnograph
  • Ultrasound imaging/radiographic imaging

Health problems are minimized by implementing practices that are consistent with the guidelines in ILAR's Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide). Animals in all colonies are observed a minimum of twice daily, seven days a week. All abnormal findings are recorded by designated animal care personnel within the Division of Animal Resources and reported to a supervisor for appropriate assessment and follow up. All observations regarding abnormal health conditions are reported to the program veterinarian.

Regular preventive health examinations are scheduled on either an annual or semiannual basis as prescribed by the specific animal program. Additionally, the program veterinarian performs the physical examinations on candidate animals as part of the pre-shipment selection process.

Comprehensive Physical Examinations are performed by the Contract Veterinarian, including but not limited to:

  • Complete blood count
  • Serum chemistry
  • Fecal for parasite check
  • Tuberculosis
  • Serum for archiving
  • Serology screening for retroviruses (SIV, SRV, STLV-1) and Herpes B virus for all animals when dictated by specific program
  • Body weight
  • Dental examination/dental prophylaxis