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Sometimes the animal was already dead when used for testing. In 2259 of the alternate reality, Doctor Leonard McCoy injected a sample of Khan Noonien Singh's Augment platelets into a dead tribble. Later, while despairing over Kirk's death, the tribble came back to life, prompting McCoy to give Kirk the same treatment, which ultimately led to the captain being revived. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
The term lab rat or laboratory rodent was often used to describe humanoids who were being exploited for scientific research against their will. (ENT: "Harbinger", DS9: "Move Along Home", "Broken Link", VOY: "Scientific Method", "Life Line", "Jetrel")