Animal testing outside of a lab? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Animal testing outside of a lab?

Is it possible to test on animals in a home? Like you could keep your test subjects like pets - and feeding them the same thing... the same amount etc etc whatever is needed and then just get all the data you are looking for that way?

Or is that too difficult? Or does it depend on the kind of testing you are doing? Let's say cats - and you test foods on them and see their reactions or growth or whatever... or would labs not like to do something like that? I dunno... Just a thought.

I was thinking about our animal testing thread so I wonder if it wouldn't take the sting off animal testing if they were treated as pets or not.
Nero the Sable is offline  
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 05:25 PM
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Maybe I am taking this thread wrong..... but I have known Elementary student to do Science experiments with their pets.....
Question: Which pet food will my pet eat the fastest?

(seen this actual question on a science project board)
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 06:02 PM
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I remember in the fourth grade, we had two classroom rats -- Snowball and Snickers. Anyway, we did a science experiment on their eating habits. One got normal rat food while the other ate part of the lunch served in the cafeteria. I don't remember what the results were, but I remember cafeteria lunch rat got fat. The whole thing was pretty cruel, now that I think about it...
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 06:27 PM
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You could do basic stuff on a small level I suppose, mainly school project type of stuff.
But in general no. There would be too much variability. The most important thing in my level of science is that the animals are all pretty genetically close. At my level the differences we are looking at are differences in the treatment. So the animals need to be basically identical to one another so that any differences seen can be attributed to the treatment and not animal differences.
Lab animals are kept in very specific climates. Certain humidity. Certain temperature. Lights are on a timer so that they have X number of hours of light every day. This is all specifically written out in the grant proposals.
You would also have the factors of interaction with other animals and the possibility of infection of oppurtunistic agents. Our animals are certified specific pathogen free. The mice and rats have sentinal animals in the room with them. This is usually 2 mice in a cage that get used bedding from the other animals sprinkled in with their bedding at every cage cleaning. These guys have blood drawn every month and it's sent off to some lab to be tested for a bunch of different rodent diseases. If any ever come back positive, the room is dirty and all experiments stop immediately.
They are "clean" animals. Dogs don't have any vaccines, that sort of stuff.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2005, 07:54 PM
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Also, for actual "medical" testing that wouldn't work because you need special equipment or special stuff.

There is one group where I work that is doing asthma research. THey have to expose the animals to some sort of allergen (rag weed) after the animals have had their immune systems primed. These are huge chambers with techs running engines to aerosolize the exposure material.

It's just too complicated to do at home.

Plus there are people working with virus. SARS is big right now in research, along with AIDS and other virus. No way I'm taking that stuff home

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