Animal Care and Veterinary Services Animal Care and Veterinary Services

Veterinary Services

Veterinary Services provides a wide range of clinical and consultative services to individuals involved in animal based research:

Veterinary On-Call Services

A veterinarian is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (366 in a leap year) to provide emergency veterinary services to animals involved in research projects. During working hours, a veterinarian may be contacted by the university telephone system or by pager (519-661-2195). After hours and on holidays the pager number should be used. Veterinary Services is committed to responding to emergency calls within ten minutes.  Telephone numbers are available from facility managers and should be posted in a prominent location. 

If you use the pager system and your call is not immediately answered, please leave a message including your telephone number and remain by the phone.  If your call is not answered within 10 minutes please call again.  We also request that you notify the department of any call which is not answered in a timely fashion (519-661-2111 ext. 86768.)

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Drugs and Supplies

Veterinary Services maintains an inventory of commonly-used veterinary drugs and supplies. If we do not have your request in stock we can likely order is in within a few days or help you find a supplier.

Items are sold on a cost plus basis and are charged directly to the investigators account number. Items may be ordered specifically for an investigator. There is no additional charge for this service unless immediate delivery is required. In such instances, shipping and handling will also be applied.

Controlled Drugs / ACVS Dispensing License

All use of controlled drugs (e.g. ketamine, Euthanyl, diazepam etc.) is regulated by Health Canada. Principal Investigators must apply for a Controlled Substance Exemption through Health Canada to be able to purchase, hold, and use controlled substances. An approved Animal Use Protocol must be in place to do this.

The required forms can be downloaded from the Health Canada website. The possession of controlled drugs carries specific obligations regarding storage and record keeping. Storage requirements can be found at the Directive on Physical Security Requirements for Controlled Substances. Please download the template of the Controlled Drug Recording Sheet (DOC).

The expected wait time to receive an approved exemption from Health Canada is up to 12 weeks. All exemptions have an expiry date of one year post-approval, and NO drugs may be purchased after the license is expired - regardless of any ‘un-used’ portion on the exemption.

If you have drug remaining in-stock towards the end of your license and do not plan on purchasing more, an ‘extension’ is required to use and possess said controlled substance. This exemption extension does not allow you to purchase additional drugs – it simply allows you to legally hold and use any controlled substances that you currently have on-hand.

PIs are responsible for renewal of their license; you will not be reminded by Health Canada, ACC, ACVS, or any other licensed vendor of pending expiry. You are encouraged to apply for a consecutive exemption no later than 3 months prior to the current exemption’s expiry in order to avoid any interruption in your animal research.

Once you have received an exemption from Health Canada you may purchase the required drugs. Controlled drugs may only be purchased through a licensed vendor. To make it convenient for investigators to purchase controlled substances, Animal Care & Veterinary Services holds a dispensing license with Health Canada.

See Controlled Drugs Available from ACVS (PDF). This document lists drugs available through ACVS as well as some of the manufacturers of the most commonly used controlled drugs. Please note that buprenorphine and pentobarbital (anaesthetic solution) are only available from ACVS. For more information regarding controlled drugs dispensed by ACVS, please contact

If you decide to use ACVS as your supplier you will need to put the following information for the application:

Name of Director
Animal Care and Veterinary Services
510D Medical Sciences Building
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario
N6A 5C1
519-661-2111 ext. 86768

Health Canada takes its regulations very seriously and may lay criminal charges and/or impose fines for inadequate compliance.
Please see Health Canada's Compliance and Enforcement Policy (POL-0001) for more information.

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Veterinary Consultation

Veterinarians are available to discuss such topics as anaesthetic and analgesic regimes, animal models, surgical methods etc. There is no charge for this service. 

It is recommended that investigators, technicians and other research staff take advantage of this service prior to the submission of invasive animal use protocols. The veterinarian will attempt to identify problems which may arise during the review process. This may expedite the review process. 

In addition, information is available on animal handling equipment, zoonotic diseases, specialized surgical instrumentation and other topics related to animals in research. 

Consultations may be made over the telephone, or in person, either in the animal laboratory or in the offices of ‘Animal Care and Veterinary Services.’  If you would like to make arrangements to discuss any animal research related questions please send an email to

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Rent-a-Tech, Rent-a-Vet Surgical and Medical Services

If your research staff does not have the time or the expertise to undertake complicated surgical or techncial procedures, Veterinary Services may be able to assist. We can develop research models and complete experimental procedures on a fee for service basis. We can take responsibility for all aspects of an experimental protocol from ordering animals through surgery, recovery and monitoring to euthanasia. Data will be collected as per your instructions. Alternately, we will perform individual procedures leaving the remainder of the protocol to your staff.

If you are working with a partner in industry we can also provide you with all of the above services.

Some examples of research procedures that have been performed recently include:

If you would like to arrange a consultation with an ACVS veterinarian please phone the main ACVS office at ext. 86768. To receive a quote on an established procedure or protocol please contact

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Veterinary Services provides general and diagnostic histopathology services as well as histopathological support for target validation and phenotyping. Gross post mortems are free of charge. Histology and histopathology fees are based on species, number of slides, etc. If you would like to use this service please complete the on-line form.

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