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observing mouse tongue - (Aug/07/2012 )

Hi!

I'm starting experiment on inducing oral cancer on mice. I need to observe the mouse tongue weekly and see whether any lesion develop. Anyone have idea how to observe mouse tongue macroscopically while it still alive?

My colleague method involves general anesthesia by intraperitoneal injection then pinned its limbs on sponge board and use some wire to retract the mouth so we can pull out the tongue and observe.

It's quite a work weekly for myself and it seems a little bit cruel on the mice, so I'm trying to find another method. I'm open to suggestion so please help. Thanks!

-pathologeek-

"pinned its limbs on sponge board "

What!
No one in there right mind is going to give you ethics approval for such a cruel procedure! That poor mouse will have numerous injuries from being pinned out each week. What kind of person even suggests sticking pins in a live mouse!!! Can you imagine waking up from anaesthetic with big ol' pin holes in your arms?

Okay, personal outrage aside, here is what I would do:
- using an inhaled anaesthetic (e.g. methoxyfluorane), wait until the mouse appears drowsy and has stopped wondering around the jar, but isn't fully under
- take her out, and gently (using blunt forceps) pull her tongue out and have a look, you'll have to be really careful to hold her tongue lightly so you don't hurt or bruise it

If you are holding her correctly, you should have no trouble with this. If you are using a particularly feisty mouse strain, you may need to knock the mouse completely out, but even so if you go easy on that anaesthetic they will recover well.

I use this method to take saliva samples from mice, every two days. They appear to tolerate the anaesthetic well (in fact I wonder if some take it too well as they seem less and less fussed about getting in the jar each time, little addicts!).

-leelee-

@leelee Thank you very much for the suggestion. In fact I have been doing almost the same thing as you suggested. And yes I agree the limbs pinning is very cruel. I think my colleague is doing that only once so it's a whole different case with what I have to do.

-pathologeek-