The University of Iowa

A Guide to Health Emails from Office of Animal Resources (OAR)

A Guide to Health Emails from Office of Animal Resources (OAR)


Why did I get an email regarding my research animals?

The veterinary staff of OAR provides consultation and continual oversight to all animal research activities at the University of Iowa.  If you receive an email from the veterinary staff regarding one of your animals, it means there may be an identified health concern. The email will guide you on recommendations, treatment requirements, euthanasia, or inform you of continued monitoring by veterinary staff.

Where can I learn more about the condition of my animal?

Please direct questions back to the veterinary staff so we can provide you with more information by replying to the health communication. For rodents, we have a guidance document outlining common clinical conditions: click here.

What if the prescribed treatment or action by the veterinary staff contradicts my animal protocol?

OAR devised treatment plans are based on evaluation and assessment of the current medical condition of the individual animal. If our guidance contradicts or interferes with your research, please let us know at your earliest convenience. Potential actions include submitting a clarifying amendment to the animal protocol or creating a new treatment plan.

What do the abbreviations in the health emails stand for?

Commonly used abbreviations include:

  • BAR: bright, alert, and responsive.         

  • QAR: quiet, alert, and responsive.

  • BCS: body condition score. A metric that is used to described fat and muscle of an animal. An animal with a BCS of 2 or less is underconditioned and may have a health issue.

  • SSD: silver sulfadiazine. A medication that is often used to treat dermatitis.

  • TAO: triple antibiotic ointment. Comes in a topical and an ophthalmic formulation.

  • SQ/SC fluids: subcutaneous fluids. Sterile physiological fluid that is applied under the skin of an animal for maintaining hydration.