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Veterinary Verification and Consultation (VVC) Reviews

The specific significant changes described below may be handled administratively according to IACUC-reviewed and -approved policies in consultation with a veterinarian authorized by the IACUC. The veterinarian is not conducting DMR, but is serving as a subject matter expert to verify that compliance with the IACUC-reviewed and -approved policy is appropriate for the animals in this circumstance. Consultation with the veterinarian must be documented. The veterinarian may refer any request to the IACUC for review for any reason and must refer any request that does not meet the parameters of the IACUC-reviewed and -approved policies.

Anesthesia, Analgesics and Sedatives and Experimental Substances

The veterinarian may verify that changes to the dose, route, concentration, volume, and/or duration of an approved anesthetic, analgesic or sedative are acceptable. Changes in the anesthetic, analgesia or sedative agent may only be approved if the expected effects and lack of adverse clinical consequences can be adequately documented.

The veterinarian may verify acceptable changes to the dose, route, concentration, volume, and/or duration of an experimental substance that has already been approved for use in the protocol. New experimental substances may only be verified if the expected effects and lack of adverse clinical consequences can be adequately documented, and Environmental Health and Safety has approved appropriate personal protective equipment/measures.

Sources of adequate documentation for the verification of proposed changes to anesthesia, analgesia, sedation or experimental substances may include:

  • Published veterinary formularies such as (but not limited to):
    • Exotic Animal Formulary [James W. Carpenter]
    • Formulary for Laboratory Animals [Hawk, Leary, Morris]
    • Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook [Donald C. Plumb]
    • Association of Primate Veterinarians Formulary [Lee, Doane]
    • Anesthesia and Analgesia in Laboratory Animals [ed. Kohn, Wixson, White, Benson]
  • Research Institution websites
  • Peer-reviewed publications
  • Expert consultation
  • Professional judgment


The veterinarian may verify the appropriateness of changes to the method of euthanasia, provided that the proposed changes are consistent with the current edition of the AVMA Euthanasia Guidelines.

Duration, Frequency, Type or Number of Procedures Performed on an Animal

The veterinarian may verify acceptable procedural changes to the duration, frequency, type or number of approved experimental procedures, as long as the change does not unduly impact animal welfare (i.e., lessens or involves equivalent pain, acute or chronic stress, distress or result in a greater degree of invasiveness), does not change study objectives, and is related to a procedure already in the protocol and approved by the IACUC. Procedural changes must be consistent with current standards of veterinary practice or specifically addressed in IACUC policy.  The assigned veterinarian may use his/her discretion to indicate procedural changes not explicitly stated in the examples below.

Examples of procedural changes include but are not limited to:

  • Addition of a non-invasive sampling or method (e.g., passively voided feces or urine).
  • Substitution of one accepted wound closure method for another.
  • Altering the duration of/or interval between procedures (e.g., lengthening an imaging episode or the time between episodes).
  • Changing an identification means.
  • Increases or enhancements in enrichment
  • Programs of post-anesthetic care that are enhanced above IACUC-approved minimums.