Tools of the trade: Table Top Mouth Gag (Rodent/Rabbit)


by Dr Louise Pierce, Toorak Rd Veterinary Clinic, Camberwell, VIC

rodent_mouth_gagThe most common problem we see in rabbits is dental disease. Rabbits have really tiny mouths that are very difficult to access and this gag makes the whole process much easier.

What’s good about it

The Table Top Mouth gag enables us to hook up a rabbit onto the gag, open its mouth and get really good visualisation of what’s going on inside. I’m able to proceed with the dental work with the gag in place. The nurse doesn’t need to hold the rabbit which means there’s another pair of hands free and the anaesthetic can be properly monitored.

The design of the gag sees the top and bottom front teeth hooked over two metal bars and separated. It allows you to get in the mouth with a high-speed handpiece to bur the teeth down. I tend to give rabbits an anaesthetic injection to start and then use a mask over their nose. Sometimes I use an endotracheal tube. The gag allows all these methods to be used without getting in the way.

Even though it’s designed for rabbits and rodents, it can also be used with dogs and cats when doing surgery at the back of the throat. It works with dogs up to 10 kilograms which is really handy as it is the smaller breeds that often have problems in their mouth and throat.

What’s not so good

There was a previous model that was bulky, heavy and hard to move around. It was difficult to break down and clean properly. This new one is easy to take apart, easy to clean and very robust.

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