C174
Drenching


Introduction: Drenching is a procedure where fluids or pastes are discharged into the mouth. Some basic recommendations include keeping excitement and stress on the animal to a minimum, not rushing the job, holding the animalís head level at all times, and keeping drenching nozzles and tips smooth to prevent abrasions and lacerations in the mouth. When drenching or administering any liquid into the mouth of an animal, it is essential that the liquid be administered into the esophagus and not into the lungs. The following suggestions will help make sure this happens when using different drenching guns.

 

This diagram shows the internal anatomy of the mouth and throat (pharynx) regions of the head. Note the epiglottis and the openings to the lungs and stomach.

 

Gun with Short Spout - Epiglottis Open
When using a drenching gun with a shorter spout, the passageway to windpipe (trachea) is open! Fluids drenched in this manner can easily enter the windpipe and either cause death or serious pneumonia.

If a gun with a shorter spout is used, administer the liquid slowly and allow the animal plenty of time to swallow.

 

Gun with Long Spout - Epiglottis Closed
When using a drenching gun with a longer spout, carefully push the tip of the gun to the back of the tongue. This will stimulate the swallowing reflex and cause the epiglottis to cover the windpipe (trachea). With the opening to the windpipe covered, the liquid will safely enter the esophagus and stomach.

 

 

This is a common drenching gun and backpack. The black arrow identifies the backpack that is associated with most drenching equipment. This backpack can hold fluids for drenching. Smaller amounts of fluid can also be administered using a metal dosing syringe.

 

The tip of the drenching gun should be placed in the corner of the mouth and gently pushed to the back of the tongue.

 

Once the drenching gun is completely in the mouth, the liquid can be administered. If a gun with a shorter spout is used, administer the liquid slowly and allow the animal plenty of time to swallow. A video of this procedure is found below. 

 

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