1 Biomedical Laboratory, Department of Molecular Medicine, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU2 Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU3 Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs4 Biomedical Laboratory, Department of Molecular Medicine, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, SDU
Oral dosing is widely used to test compounds in minipigs. The procedure of oral dosing by gavage is stressful for the animals and may require up to 3-4 technicians to perform it. In humans, PEG catheters are commonly used to feed patients who are not able to ingest food, and where the placement of a nasal intragastric catheter is not possible. We suggested that oral dosing studies in minipigs would be easier to perform, and would cause less distress for the animals, when using PEG catheters, due to the absence of the need for restraint. For this reason, we investigated if PEG catheters could be placed and maintained in minipigs. Two male minipigs with a body weight of 6 kg were brought into general aneasthesia. Via a gastric endoscope, the ventricle was insufflated with CO2, and a PEG catheter was placed transabdominally. The animals were housed post-operatively for three weeks, after which they were euthanized. PEG placement was performed without complications, and the animals recovered uneventful. Both animals had a normal appetite and growth. Pathological inspection revealed a sheet of connective tissue around the catheter, with slight inflammation in both animals. One animal had slight erythema and exudation around the catheter, and an adhesion (1x1 cm) of the spleen. The study demonstrated that PEG catheter placement in the minipig is possible without major complications.