Tools of the trade: Laryngoscope

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laryngoscopeby Dr Abbie Stott, Montrose Vet Centre, TAS

I use a laryngoscope every time I anaesthetise an animal. It enables me to clearly see the back of the throat and the larynx when I need to put in an endotracheal tube.

What’s good about it

My laryngoscope has a light source situated on the end that gives an extremely clear view. This makes it a more accurate tubing method because you can actually see what you’re doing. Using a laryngoscope means there is little chance of accidentally placing the tube in the oesophagus or causing any damage to the back of the throat.

When working in such a sensitive area, it’s preferable to have no trauma or irritation in order to reduce the risk of complications. While it’s important that vets can tube an animal without using a laryngoscope, it is much easier when the epiglottis is out of the way. Having a light source positioned halfway down the animal’s throat allows for beautiful visualisation.

The probes come in different sizes so they can be used for a variety of animals and dog breeds. Some are longer than others to account for variation in size ranging from a chihuahua to a labrador. I also use it with cats.

After use, the probe is simply wiped down with chemical sterilisation and dried. It’s a very handy piece of equipment.

What’s not so good

The only downside would be if a vet or nurse relied on it all the time. In an emergency situation when a laryngoscope isn’t readily at hand, you still need to be able to place an endotracheal tube quickly and safely.

Where did you get it

DLC has a range of laryngoscopes available.

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