Effect of 2 Bedding Materials on Ammonia Levels in Individually Ventilated Cages

Jason M Koontz, David M Kumsher, Richard Kelly, Jonathan D Stallings
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science: JAALAS 2016, 55 (1): 25-8
This study sought to identify an optimal rodent bedding and cage-change interval to establish standard procedures for the IVC in our rodent vivarium. Disposable cages were prefilled with either corncob or α-cellulose bedding and were used to house 2 adult Sprague-Dawley rats (experimental condition) or contained no animals (control). Rats were observed and intracage ammonia levels measured daily for 21 d. Intracage ammonia accumulation became significant by day 8 in experimental cages containing α-cellulose bedding, whereas experimental cages containing corncob bedding did not reach detectable levels of ammonia until day 14. In all 3 experimental cages containing α-cellulose, ammonia exceeded 100 ppm (our maximum acceptable limit) by day 11. Two experimental corncob cages required changing at days 16 and 17, whereas the remaining cage containing corncob bedding lasted the entire 21 d without reaching the 100-ppm ammonia threshold. These data suggests that corncob bedding provides nearly twice the service life of α-cellulose bedding in the IVC system.

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