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Protocol for oral gavage in mice
Oral gavage is used when a specific volume of liquid compounds needs to be administered directly into the stomach. In this protocol, we present the experimental procedure of oral gavage in the mouse as follows.
Choose restrained mice which are conscious for oral gavage, because anesthesia or sedation will increase the risk of aspiration.
Choose the gavage needle best suited for your use. All gavage needles have a spherical tip at the end to prevent injury to the esophagus and other tissues. The required length of needle can be determined by keeping the restrained animal upward and measure the distance from the oral cavity to the end of the xiphoid process.
Hold the animal’s head, neck and body to keep they are in a straight line. Which creates a straight line through the neck and esophagus and is beneficial for gavage needles to pass.
Slide the spherical tip of the gavage needle into the animals’ mouth along the upper tongue. Once the gavage needle reaches the proper position, gently tilt the head back towards the spine with gentle pressure from the gavage needle. When administering gavage to rats, the needle may need to change its direction slightly when passing through the back of the throat. Any tension on the needle may indicate the need to adjust the position.
Continue to pass the needle to the pre-measured position. There should be no resistance when passing the gavage needle. If there is resistance or the animal struggles excessively, stop immediately and remove the needle.
Once the feeding needle is at the pre-measured place, slowly press the plunger to inject your substance. When finishing injection, keep the needle in place for about a few seconds to prevent from the solution backflow.
Post- surgery
Return the mouse to its cage.

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