Clinical Services

A primary mission of the Department of Animal Resources (DAR) is to provide for adequate veterinary care for our laboratory animals as required by regulatory and accrediting agencies including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Public Health Service (PHS) Policy, and the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC International).

Clinical services are provided by DAR veterinarians to ensure adequate veterinary care. These services include diagnosis, treatment and resolution of cases of spontaneous or unexpected project–related illness, emergency services, and preventative health programs.

Principal Investigator Notification

DAR veterinarians have access to all animals in order to evaluate their health and well–being on a daily basis. In addition, the DAR veterinarians rely upon the research staff and laboratory animal technicians to report occurrences of injury or illness after their daily observations of animals. Should an animal be reported sick or injured by a laboratory animal technician, the responsible PI will be notified prior to initiation of treatment or diagnostic tests. If a veterinarian determines that immediate action is necessary, as in the case of a life threatening situation or where significant pain and distress for the animal exist, action will be taken and the PI will be notified as soon as possible.

On–call Veterinarian

A veterinarian is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide veterinary services to animals involved in research projects. Look for the signs posted throughout the animal facility for emergency phone and pager numbers.

Reporting an Injury or Illness in a Laboratory Animal

To report an occurrence of injury or illness in a laboratory animal please complete the top section (‘reported information’) of our Clinical Examination Form and submit to the DAR Director’s Office; if you have questions pertaining to the clinical services provided by DAR please contact us and ask to speak with a veterinarian.

Health Status of USC Animal Populations

Mouse and rat populations in all USC facilities are routinely tested using “sentinel” surveillance animals on a quarterly basis. The history of detection of agents during the past year is as follows:

Please note that USC does not exclude murine noroviruses or Helicobacter spp. from rodent populations.

Nonrodent animals at USC are obtained from approved vendors under conditions such that infectious agents that may affect research or present a health issue for personnel or other animals are tested for and/or excluded by treatment of vaccination.

If you have any questions about these programs, please contact an Animal Resources veterinarian.


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  • Department of Animal Resources

    Center for Health Professions 234
    Health Sciences Campus
    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, California 90033-9004

    Main Phone: (323) 442-1689
    Main Fax: (323) 442-2768