Lab Anim Res.  2022 Sep;38(3):247-255. 10.1186/s42826-022-00130-7.

Endotracheal intubation in rabbits using a video laryngoscope with a modified blade

Affiliations
  • 1Laboratory Animal Research Center, Institute of Biomedical Industry, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Laboratory Animal, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 3Department of Laboratory Animal Resources, Yonsei Biomedical Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 4Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Eunpyeong St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 5Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 6Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 7Laboratory of Developmental Biology and Genomics, BK21 Program for Veterinary Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 8Division of Biomedical Convergence, College of Biomedical Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
  • 9College of Pharmacy, Gachon University, Incheon, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

Rabbits are being increasingly used as companion animals, and in research; thus, the need for proper veterinary care for rabbits has increased. Surgical access is more challenging in rabbits under inhalation anesthesia compared to other animals, such as dogs and cats. Rabbits have a very narrow and deep oral cavity, large incisors, and a large tongue. Moreover, their temporomandibular joint has limited mobility, making it more difficult to approach the larynx. Various methods have been proposed to overcome this difficulty. The video laryngoscope was introduced in 1999 and is useful when airway intubation is unsuccessful using a conventional laryngoscope. We postulated that a video laryngoscope with a modified size 1 Macintosh blade (McGrath MAC Video Laryngoscope, Medtronic, USA) would facilitate the intubation of New Zealand White rabbits. Sixteen specific-pathogen-free male New Zealand White rabbits weighing 3.45–4.70 kg were studied. All rabbits were intubated using the video laryngoscope. Typically, a 3.0 mm endotracheal tube was used for rabbits weighing < 4 kg, while a 3.5 mm tube was used in those weighing > 4 kg. During surgery, anesthesia was well maintained, and there were no major abnormalities in the animals’ conditions. No rabbit developed breathing difficulties or anorexia after recovering from anesthesia. We established an intubation method using a video laryngoscope with a modified blade and stylet in the supine (ventrodorsal) position and successfully applied it in 16 rabbits. It is useful for training novices and for treating rabbits in veterinary hospitals with few staff members and animal research facilities where there are insufficient human resources.

Keyword

Rabbits; Inhalation anesthesia; Endotracheal intubation; Video laryngoscopes; Modified blade; Modified stylet
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