1. Unless animals are maintained in an SPF unit, it is inevitable that sporadic microbial infections will occur in the colony. Careful monitoring of the colony for signs of infection will allow the removal of unhealthy mice and prevent a potentially disastrous widespread infection. Sick animals should be sent for veterinary analysis. A 6-mo check of the colony's health status by a veterinarian is advisable. Professional veterinary care is mandatory, although reference to texts (for example, 3) may be useful. The loss of a valuable transgenic line through infection may be prevented by maintaining the line in a collaborating laboratory or by freezing embryos. The health status of an infected, but surviving line can be restored by either Caesarean (see Chapter 21) or oviduct transfer (see Chapter 20) rederivation.

2. An additional group of animals that may be required are foster mothers. Such mice are necessary in cases where a very low number of embryos develop in the pseudopregnant recipient; the resultant fetuses may be too large for normal birth to occur, and a Caesarean section must be performed. These procedures are described in Chapter 21. Foster mothers can be obtained by setting up matings 1 d later than the pseudopregnant matings. Alternatively, if the colony is sufficiently large, suitable females should be available on most days.

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