Oral gavage is a common experimental procedure in adult rats. Although this method is considered a well-established approach for most toxicology and drug safety evaluations in adult rat test system, application of this method for evaluation of the drugs designed to be used for children is questionable.  Considering the basic physiological differences between neonates and adults, especially in the digestive system, establishing a neonatal test system to evaluate the safety of the oral drugs targeting pediatric patients is necessary. We have developed an oral gavage procedure for neonatal rats using conventional plastic mouse gavage cannula. Following manual  restraint of the pups and pre-measurement of the cannula length on the abdominal surface of the pups from oral cavity to xiphoid process and using milk -filled stomach as land mark,  oral gavage was performed using an inert dye (tattoo ink). The neonates especially in earlier post-natal age  accepted the procedure with minimal resistance.  Successful dosing was confirmed by discoloration of the white milk-spot to the green ink color in 3 to 5 minutes.  Necropsy of the neonate after 1 hour showed expected flow of ink in the stomach and intestine. We suggest that oral gavage of neonatal rat from early post natal age could be considered as an ideal system for safety evaluation of oral drugs in pediatric medicine.

error: Content is protected !!