Cage and Mouse

Cage- and mouse-related page are among our most used. Expect to be able to use LIMS for all of your colony data management. Also, some common workflow processes now have automated pages, simplifying your day and freeing time for other concerns.

Features You Know and Love

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View Cage

In LIMS, we really want you to be able to track all the mouse information you need, instead of just cage information. Of course, if mouse data is going to be useful, we need to track mice throughout their lives in the facility rather than just having a snapshot of their current location. This means that we also need to have a way of easily entering that information, since most LIMS users are dealing with a very large number of mice on a regular day.

The View Cage page puts all the important data in one, easily editable place.

Where to Find this Feature: View Cage

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Drag 'n' Drop Mouse Movement

As much as possible, we've automated common tasks, like moving mice from cage to cage. In order to ensure that people have time to do things other than entering data on LIMS, we've created an easy, extremely fast mouse movement page. From any cage page, just click the Move Mouse button. From there, you can scan another cage to move the mice into, drag the mouse into the "New Cage" area to create a new cage, or drag them into the "Sacrifice" area to mark them as terminated. You can even drag a whole cage (using the barcode bar) into another cage or area to move all of the selected mice. Any cages which are emptied of mice using this page can easily be terminated directly from this page. The Drag 'n' Drop page is fantastic for quickly separating or combining cages of mice.

Note that no changes are saved until the Save button is pressed. To cancel any movements or terminations, simply press the Cancel button.

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Breeding Cage Setup

Setting up breeding cages is now a breeze, using the page designed for exactly that process. Instead of a multi-step effort, the whole process has now been streamlined into a single automatic page. Simply scan the cages which you're going to pull mice from, select the mice to be bred, adjust any of the automatically entered information, and press the Save button. Instant breeding cage! Setting up additional cages from the same source cages is even easier: just select more mice and Save again. You can even terminate any emptied cages directly from this page. When you're finished, view and print all the PDFs generated, including the new breeding cages and any updated cages.

By using this new breeding setup page, we can also automatically track and display the mating status and success rates for any of your animals. This can be invaluable when trying to maintain an efficient breeding colony. Look for these statistics on any new breeding cage. Not only are you spending less time entering data, you're also getting more useful information at your fingertips.

Wean Cages

The weaning page has been redesigned to give users a smoother interface to work with and more flexible options in allocating and numbering mice.

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Mouse Log Entries

Since we now have the ability to track mice throughout their life, we can store a lot more information about that mouse and events that affected it. For issues affecting mice that are more specific, or that simply need more notes associated with them, users can use mouse log entries to record specific information that will be permanently attached to the record for that particular mouse. This is a great replacement for cumbersome paper notes or cage annotations, and can be especially useful for labs who might be sending mice for pathology. If they are in the habit of recording information using LIMS, that will be automatically available to any technicians working with those mice. This ensures accuracy, reduces forgotten or misplaced information, and increases efficiency. Using these entries also ensures that the information is available to anyone in the lab and to TCP staff, facilitating collaboration.

To enter a mouse log entry, simply go to the view page for any mouse and create a new entry.

Mouse logs are also added automatically when mouse welfares, remedial actions, and health alerts are added or updated.

Where to Find this Feature: View Mouse > Mouse Logs and View Cage > Mouse Logs

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Mouse Welfare

Many of the issues encountered by a mouse colony are easily categorized into a small set of terms. In order to standardize the vocabulary for the more common afflictions that a mouse might have, we have a set of Welfare Terms that can be easily applied to any individual mouse. Labs which get into the habit of using these terms consistently will be able to generate useful reports on the percentage of mice being affected in a given mouseline and will have permanent, easily accessible records of what happened to any given mouse.

Mouse welfares that are added through health alerts (by TCP staff) will show up in the mouse welfares lists with a health alert indicator . Although these welfares are not editable by lab users they give details on the welfares reported and treatments used.

Where to Find this Feature: View Mouse > Welfare and View Cage > Welfare

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Cage/Mouse Hold Section

While using LIMS, it's common to be working with multiple cages during a session. For instance, you might be requesting a service of several cages or the mice in them, or you might be checking on a number of cages and then going back to certain ones. For these situations, and many more, you can use the new Hold feature to save cages for later use. Simply click the Hold button while viewing a cage or mouse. The cage or mouse will then be available in the Holding area in the menu bar. You can click on the area to show the cages currently being held. Even more useful, you can quickly import any of the cages currently being held into any service request which concerns cages. Simply press the "Import Cages / Mice from Holding Area" on the request form and the cages will be instantly available. Much easier than typing them in manually! You can also send a notification for all the cages being held by clicking the Send Notification button on the Held Cages panel.

Where to Find this Feature: All Pages (Top right, beside the Logout link)

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Mouse Pedigrees

Many labs have a colony of mice which go back numerous generations. Tracking the relationships back past immediate parents can be time-consuming and cumbersome. With the automatic breeding page in LIMS, we can now track parent and litter relationships back until the original animal entered the facility. This feature will be available on all animals from litters created after the launch of LIMS. From the mouse's view page, click on the "Full Pedigree" link to see the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents of the current mouse. You can even see the litters for the current mouse, if there are any. To go further back in the tree, just click on the Pedigree link for any of the displayed ancestors, and repeat!

Note: inbred colonies will display multiple copies of ancestors, as if it was a non-inbred relationship. That is, there will continue to be a full branching tree.

Where to Find this Feature: View Mouse > Full Pedigree

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Cage Notifications

With multiple people working on a project, it can often be the case that you need to point someone towards a particular cage. Or, perhaps a facility technician needs to bring a cage to the attention of the contact person for that cage. Whenever the need to notify someone about a specific cage arises, you can now use the Notifications system to quickly generate a note which will be displayed on that user's homepage. Simply click the "Send Notification" button on any cage. By default, this will use the contact person, but that can be changed to anyone, or to multiple people. Enter a title, a description, even a date for the notification to appear, and press save. The recipient can easily get to exactly the cage you were pointing out using the link included in the notification.

Where to Find this Feature: View Cage > Send Notification and View Cage > Related Entities > Notifications

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One-click Mouse Termination

Rather than deleting mice and losing all the information associated with them, you can now quickly mark a mouse as dead by pressing the Terminate button located either on their cage or on the mouse view page. This retains all information that was related to the mouse while it was alive, such as their welfare and log entries, but will no longer show the mouse in the cage.

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Cage Census

One of the tasks that the TCP staff conduct regularly is a cage census. This time consuming task involves scanning the barcodes of all the cage cards in a room to find terminated and moved cages. Any cages that are not scanned within 45 days are automatically terminated.

The Census Cage Scanning page contains 3 areas of information:

  1. Scan History : This section lists all the cages that have been scanned and are being processed and the last 10 scanned barcodes. In the past, users had to pause between scans to avoid losing data. This is no longer the case, so scan as fast as you like.
  2. Scan Statistics : This section displays the current room and rack being scanned, the total number of scans, as well as the numbers of successful, unsuccessful, and invalid scans, and moved cages.
  3. Scan Details : This section lists the last 10 scanned barcodes, all unsuccessful scans (those that require additional attention such as terminated cages), all invalid scans (such as incomplete barcodes or cages not found in LIMS), and moved cages.

Where to Find this Feature: Cage > Cage Actions > Cage Census Scanning

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Room Usage

For TCP staff, everything you need to know about a room in one place. This page shows lists of recently modified cages, empty cages, unhealthy cages, welfare issues, and recent mouse logs as well as a list of AUPs and Mouselines in the room.

Where to Find this Feature: Cage > Reports > Room Usage

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Project List Administration

Some investigators are working on several lines of research simultaneously under a single AUP. To help group cages, the cage can be assigned to a project.

Where to Find this Feature: Cage > Project List

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Manage Welfare Terms

If your mouse colony encounters issues that do not fit in with the current set of terms, new terms can be added by the colony administrators. Remember, the point of using a set of welfare terms is to encourage standardization so we will need agreement from the larger LIMS population to add new welfare terms.

Where to Find this Feature: Cage > Admin > Manage Welfare Terms

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