1. Anesthetize the rat as in Subheading 2.2.

2. Place the rat abdomen side up.

3. Swab the scrotal area with 70% ethanol.

4. Lift the scrotal skin of one testis with a pair of fine forceps, and make a 1-cm longitudinal cut on the more anterior outer portion of the scrotum.

5. Lift the body wall (which is extremely thin) with the fine forceps, and make a parallel cut.

6. Place a single stitch into the body wall wound and leave in position.

7. Pull out the fat pad, and with it the testis, epididymis, and vas deferens.

8. Identify the vas deferens located underneath the testis. Tie off each end of the tube with cotton thread, and then cut the tube between the two ties with a pair of fine scissors.

9. Return the organs into the body cavity using a pair of blunt forceps. It is often hard to relocate the body wall—use the single stitch placed in the body wall at the start of the surgery as a marker.

10. Stitch up the body wall with two or more sutures.

11. Stitch up the scrotal skin.

12. Repeat with the other side of the rat.

13. Make sure the animal is regaining consciousness and some semblance of mobility before leaving it to recover in a warm quiet place.

Fig. 1. Steps in the vasectomy of a male mouse. See text for details.
Fig. 2. Cauterization of the vas deferens. 69

14. Cage the vasectomized males individually. Allow a few weeks for full recovery before using the animal to produce pseudopregnant recipient females.

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