Contact Information


  • Division Secretary


    General Questions
    Phone: 404.727.7423
    Fax: 404.727.3212
    Email Us

  • Customer Service


    Billing
    Phone: 404.727.8395
    Fax: 404.727.8762
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  • Animal Orders & Transfers
    Phone: 404.727.7426
    Fax: 404.727.8762
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    Smartkeys Add/Modify
    Phone: 404.727.7426
    Phone: 404.727.3210
    Fax: 404.727.8762
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  • Facility Access


    Normal Business Hours

    (Monday thru Friday, 8AM - 5PM)


    Phone: 404.727.8991

    After Normal Business Hours

    (Weekends, Holidays & After Hours: 5PM - 8AM)


    Phone: 404.727.6111

  • Animal Care & Husbandry


    Normal Business Hours

    (Monday thru Friday, 8AM - 5PM)


    Phone: 404.727.2955

  • Veterinary Medical Needs


    Normal Business Hours

    (Monday thru Friday, 8AM - 5PM)


    Phone: 404.727.3248

  • After Normal Business Hours

    (Weekends, Holidays & After Hours: 5PM - 8AM)


    Phone: 404.727.6111


Postal Mailing Address


  • 615 Michael Street
    Whitehead Biomedical Research Bldg
    Suite G-02
    Atlanta, GA 30322
    MAILSTOP: 1941-001-1AA

  • Business Hours

  • Monday - Friday
    8:00AM - 5:00PM




Surgical Resources


Guidelines for Aseptic Survival Surgery on Rodents



Suture Materials and Wound Closure



Proper would closure is essential to avoid wound dehiscence and subsequent infection. Surgery in which a body cavity is entered, e.g., laparotomy or thoracotomy, requires at minimum a two layer closure in which the body wall is closed separately from the skin. This technique greatly reduces the potential for evisceration or pneumothorax following a laparotomy or thoracotomy. The choice of suture pattern may also affect surgical outcome. Although a continuous suture pattern may be used for body wall closure in rodents, skin closure requires the use of either a simple interrupted pattern or sterilized wound clips.




Selection and use of appropriate suture materials is imperative for successful wound closure and healing. Sutures are either absorbable or non-absorbable, depending on the materials from which they are manufactured. Sutures are made from natural materials such as silk, cotton or catgut; or synthetics such as nylon, polyglactin, or stainless steel. For survival surgical manipulations, it is imperative that suture materials are sterile at the time of use, since they are a foreign material and provide a substrate where bacteria may proliferate.




For routine surgical procedures in rodents, commercial suture materials with swaged (attached) needled in sterile packets are ideal. Materials should be selected that are of the correct size, tensile strength, and handling characteristics for the intended procedure and animal species. For small animals, a 3-0 suture thickness or smaller is best. Cutting and reverse-cutting needles have sharp edges and are best used for skin suturing. Non-cutting taper and round needles are used for suturing easily torn tissues such as peritoneum, muscle or intestine. For ligation of vessels or suturing of tissues other than the skin, an absorbably material such as Vicryl®, Dexon®, PDS®, or Maxon® should be used.




Silk is a non-absorbable braided suture material that can acuse tissue reactions and may wick microorganisms into the wound. It is not recommended for skin closure. Rodents may gnaw at externalized sutures, so a buried suture line (subcuticular sutures) or stainless steel wound clips/staples are recommended for skin closure. Wound clips, as with sutures, should be removed between 10-14 days after placement.




See also: the following links for postoperative care and record-keeping.