Blood Draw in the Dog

We show in eight steps how blood can be taken from a dog quickly and without stress.

Assisting with taking blood is part of the daily routine in the practice. Optimal is a quick and stress-free blood collection with a large-bore cannula. The vein should only be dammed shortly before the sample is taken. When taking blood, it is essential to ensure that the correct sequence is observed and that the sample tubes are sufficiently filled. The sample containers that have been treated with an anticoagulant must be carefully swirled around as soon as possible to avoid blood clots.

Step 1: Materials needed

To take blood you need a tourniquet, disposable gloves, cellulose swab, skin disinfectant, yellow cannula (G 20), a container with blood sample tubes (serum, K-EDTA, Li-heparin), a small clipping machine, and alternatively curved scissors.

Step 2: Prepare the patient

The patient should be fasting for 8 to 12 hours and should not have exerted himself too much when the blood is drawn. The Vena saphena on the hind limb or the Vena cephalica on the front limb is suitable for venous puncture.

Step 3: Scissors of the puncture site

Depending on the length of the hair, the puncture site above the vein is shaved for better visualization of the vein. If this is not desired by the owner, the hair over the vein can be parted after moistening it with alcohol.

Step 4: Disinfection of the puncture site

The skin over the vein is cleaned and disinfected with a cellulose swab soaked in skin disinfectant. Alternatively, the disinfectant can also be sprayed on directly.

Step 5: Stagnation of the vein

The vein is dammed up just before the puncture with a tourniquet or by hand in the area of ​​the back of the knee. Depending on the size of the dog, the thigh is held with one or both hands, and pressure is applied to the V. Saphena, which runs in the hollow of the knee.

Step 6: Puncture of the vein

The vein is fixed between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand. The cannula with the serum tube is held between the thumb and forefinger in the right hand. The cannula is advanced at a slight angle in the direction of the course of the vessel with the bevel pointing upwards.

Step 7: Order of blood collection tubes

When taking blood, it is important to ensure that the samples are taken in the correct order. First, the serum tube is filled, then the lithium heparin, and finally the K-EDTA tube. Otherwise, the laboratory results may be falsified.

Step 8: Hemostasis

Before removing the needle from the vein, the traffic jam is opened. Pressure is then applied to the puncture site with a swab for about one minute until the bleeding stops.

Frequently Asked Question

When should you do a blood test on your dog?

A blood test in animals is always necessary if there is an ambiguous internal problem or if poisoning is suspected. If you want to determine or exclude or look at certain diseases, a blood test on animals can also be useful.

How much does a dog blood test cost?

For the blood draw and the subsequent examination in the laboratory, you should calculate costs of around 50 euros. Talk to your veterinarian about the intervals at which the blood test should be carried out because depending on the individual condition it can be carried out annually, every six months, or quarterly.

What to do if you don’t have money for the vet?

Some veterinary practices offer installment payments. Your vet may also offer cash discounts. Many pet owners have started a crowdfunding campaign to pay for their pet’s medical bills.

How long does a dog have to be fasting before taking blood?

Dogs and cats should be fasting for 10-12 hours at the time of the blood test, i.e. they should have had no food and no physical exertion for that long.

How long does a blood test at the vet take?

Blood tests are quick to do for dogs and cats, and the results are usually available within a day. They show acute diseases and disease risks.

What is examined in a complete blood count dog?

The “complete blood count” contains the assessment of the white blood cells, which are broken down according to type and size. Monocytes (Monos), are precursors of so-called scavenger cells, which later literally “eat up” bacteria. Monocytes become macrophages and play a very important role in the immune system.

Can you detect tumors in the blood of dogs?

The blood count is part of the diagnosis by the veterinarian. The blood work is used to check whether the blood of the affected dog contains too many white blood cells. If the values for these so-called lymphocytes are too high, this is a strong indication that the dog is suffering from malignant lymphoma.

How do vets draw blood?

For a blood test on the animal, the veterinarian takes the blood sample from a blocked vein. In small animals, such as dogs, blood is usually taken from a leg vein. The puncture site is shaved and the vein is briefly blocked with a tourniquet.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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