Technical Procedures

IVS provides an array of technical procedures for an hourly fee of $59.39 per hour.  These procedures include, but are not limited to:

Administration of Drugs and Experimental Compounds

IVS is able to perform a variety of administration methods on mice and rats, including tail vein injections (IV) with anesthesia, immunizations, and oral gavage.  Other methods in which our staff is trained include Subcutaneous (SQ), Intraperitoneal (IP), Intramuscular (IM), and Intradermal (IM) injections.

Blood Collection

IVS is able to perform a variety of blood collection techniques on mice and rats. The most common sites for collection are the tail vein and orbital sinus, performed while the animal is under anesthesia. Cardiac draws are performed after euthanasia and described further in the necropsy section.

Breeder Set-up and Monitoring

Breeding and colony expansion may begin when the mice reach sexual maturity. The Breeding protocol is dependent on an investigator’s preferred breeding scheme and may be either monogamous or polygamous.  A breeding pair (1 female x 1 male) is encouraged for strains that typically produce large litters in order to avoid cage overcrowding.  A breeding triangle (2 females x 1 male) is preferred for strains that produce smWaller litters, in order to optimize per diem fees and expansion rates.  A harem (multiple females x 1 male) is not allowed, but a valuable male may rotate between eight females, two per cage, for two-week intervals.


Gestation periods typically last between 18 and 22 days. Depending on the strain, the number of neonates dropped may vary from one to twenty per litter. Pups develop quickly and are ready to eat adult food at two weeks of age. Supplements of breeder chow (high fat content) and electrolyte gel are placed on the floor of the cage to prepare them for weaning which occurs around 21 days of age.  A protocol variance is required if a strain requires more than 21 days of development before weaning.

Tagging and Biopsies

New mice or weaned pups are identified individually by numbered, metal ear tags before ear or tail biopsies are taken.  Each ear punch or tail sample taken is no more than 0.5 cm in length and placed in a microfuge tube numbered correspondingly. Lab contacts are informed when the biopsies are ready for pick up from the designated refrigerator.  Once genotyped, it is the duty of the investigator to inform the IVS member or the results and which mice they wish to keep for study.

Record Keeping

Colony inventory reports are sent to the investigators and designated laboratory contacts beginning one week after arrival of a mouse colony to IVS for management.  The reports will indicate status and location of the mice in the form of Excel spreadsheets.  The inventory report provides strain names, tag numbers, gender, birth dates, and generation.  Breeding reports are sent once the mice are set up for mating.  Inventory and breeding reports are updated weekly and sent via email.  Reports are archived and accessible to any investigator who wishes to retrieve older data.


IVS is able to perform tissue harvest tailored to suit the needs of the study on either mice or rats.  A custom necropsy form and photos may be requested in addition to the service.