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Practical Animal
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Handling and Restraint

Mice are generally easy to restrain, but their small size makes them especially vulnerable to physical injury, not least by the handler inadvertently dropping them when bitten. Some mice are also very active and may attempt to jump away from the handler.

The animal should be grasped by the tail, preferably the proximal third and lifted clear of its cage. It should then be placed on a surface such as a cage top. If gentle traction is maintained on the tail, the animal will grip the cage top and attempt to pull away.

The scruff can be grasped between the thumb and forefinger whilst maintaining a grip on the tail. The animal is then secure and can be examined or injected safely.

This video clip shows the correct methods for handling and restraint in the mouse.

Handling for injection

Intraperitoneal injections can be made into the posterior quadrant of the abdomen.

Subcutaneous injection can be made into the scruff of the neck. Care must be taken to direct the needle into the scruff and not into the handlers finger or thumb.

Because the muscle masses of mice are so small, care must be taken to use a small needle and a small volume for injection. Intramuscular injections can be made into the quadriceps muscle groups on the anterior of the thigh.

This movie shows the correct procedures for injection in the mouse.
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