1. Animal Care

You must be trained by the Foster animal facility before working with any animals, which means before doing or observing any experiments. No, we can't make an exception for you. It's important that everyone learn how to be safe with animals - both to reduce the risk of our hurting the animals during a procedure, and to reduce the risk of an animal hurting one of us by biting or infection.

Official training comes in three parts, as outlined by this memo. In brief:

    1. Go to http://www.brandeis.edu/osp/iacucintro.html (email iacuc@brandeis.edu if you don't have access). Click on "Training" in the sidebar, then go the CITI Training. Check here for the modules you should sign up for.

    2. When you've finished the CITI training, check back on the IACUC website for the next upcoming Foster training, then sign up and show up. It takes about an hour. Rebecca Chafel, our vet, is very nice.

    3. While you're on the IACUC website, print and fill out a copy of the Mt Auburn medical clearance document and send that off. You can use the Bio Office fax machine. When you get clearance, foward a copy to Rebecca Chafel (chafel@brandeis.edu). If it was suggested that you get a tetanus booster, staff/postdocs can get it at their primary care doctor or can go to Waltham Urgent Care (9 Hope St., about 0.5 miles from Brandeis), phone: 617-243-5590. Undergrads/people who go to the Health center for their primary care can get their booster at the Health Center.

Then you'll need to be trained in practical animal handling and lab protocols by someone from our lab who can show you how to pick up an animal safely, etc. If you're not sure who will do this for you, ask Nora or Steve. A good place to start is to read the Ferret Care SOP document as it provides a general outline to the requirements of our animal care.

Ferrets:

    1. Can only ride in an empty elevator

    2. Can never go outside, even in a cage

    3. Have to be kept away from the rat side of Bassine's 3rd floor (note NO FERRET REEK signs)

    4. Can carry distemper (important if you have dogs at home); flu (mostly they're at risk from you); rabies (we get animals from a reputable breeder so risk is low); salmonella and campobacter (these are intestinal flora that can attack immunocompromised people); ringworm (in kits- uncommon); TB.

If you get bitten by a ferret (if it breaks the skin):

    1. 1) If you are bitten by a ferret, try to identify which ferret bit you.

      1. 2) Stop whatever you were doing and put the ferret back in its enclosure (cage, carrier or playpen). Do not proceed with any procedures with this ferret.

      2. 3) Wash the area that was injured well with soap and water. Apply a bandaid if needed.

      3. 4) Notify Rebecca immediately. Contact her (in order of preference)-in person, by phone, text or e-mail. This should happen whether Rebecca is on campus or not. If calling, leave a voice message if you do not reach her directly and send a second message via text or e-mail. Also let Steve know in person,, by phone, or email.

      4. 5) Seek medical attention, if needed. At the least, if skin is broken, your tetanus status should be determined. Some options for medical care are to go to the Health Center, Hope St Emergency Center, Newton Wellesley Hospital or Mt. Auburn Occupational Health in Cambridge.

      5. While we all know that being bitten by an unvaccinated ferret is more of a concern, I am the person responsible for making the decision about what needs to be done and then ensuring that the person is taken care of and the state regulations are followed.

      6. NOTE: These same procedures apply to poking yourself with a needle that has already been used to inject a ferret.

If you get a needle stick (it breaks the skin):

Needle sticks with clean needle

  1. Wash hands with soap and water

  2. Best practice is to check with Student Health Center or Primary Care physician if tetanus booster is needed

Needle sticks with needle attached to syringe of Ketamine or Xylazine

  1. Wash hands with soap and water-if just a stick-no injection

  2. If some of the drugs were injected into hand, etc. you should proceed to the the Student Health Center or Newton-Wellesley Urgent Care (9 Hope Avenue, 617-243-5590)

  3. With both 1 or 2 above, check tetanus status with Student Health Center or Primary Care physician

  4. Notify Steve. Steve will need to know time of injury and any witnesses for accident form.

Needle sticks with virus injection

  1. Should go to Student Health Center or Newton-Wellesley Urgent Care (9 Hope Avenue, 617-243-5590)-best to bring info on virus constructs

  2. Notify Steve and Andy Finn. Steve will need to know time of injury and any witnesses for accident form.

  3. Notify Rebecca if in animal facility

Needle sticks with dirty needle used with animals

  1. Should go to Student Health Center or Newton-Wellesley Urgent Care (9 Hope Avenue, 617-243-5590)-give Rebecca's contact information (cell 978-760-9517) if questions about ferrets arise

  2. Notify Steve. Steve will need to know time of injury and any witnesses for accident form.

  3. Notify Rebecca if in animal facility

Of note:

There's a bunch of good info on the IACUC page here, and the Standing Orders page here. The animal stats database is here (you might not have access to this page).

Body bags (for animals that have not been injected with virus) are kept in the drawers of the CO2 area and then boxes in the dirty room of Foster. They are 7-10 gallon bags. All the ferret carcasses are incinerated.

Current weekly ferret care schedule:

*Please contact Daniel Shin at dshin@brandeis.edu for any questions, concerns or issues related to ferret care

ferret bite, bites, animal bite, ferret bites, animal safety