How to Draw Blood

How To Draw Blood


1. Be sure that the horse is held securely in proper restraining equipment or that she is properly sedated. This will help to prevent injury to animal and handler.

2. Clip the hair from the neck of the horse to easily see the jugular vein under the skin. Use electric shears to shave a patch approximately 4 inches wide by 8 inches long. Shaving also provides a clean area to minimize introduction of dirt or bacteria into the vein with the needle.

3. Screw the needle onto the needle holder.

4. Insert the blood collection tube into the opposite end of the needle holder until the stopper touches the back portion of the needle. Do not puncture the stopper. Hold these assembled materials in one hand.

5. The easiest way to locate the jugular vein is to draw an imaginary line from the horse’s eye down the side of its neck. Apply pressure with the thumb or fingers in the groove on either side of the trachea and below the halfway point of the shaved area. The pressure will block flow of blood and cause the vein to swell for easier viewing.

6. Properly clean the area where the vein is located. This is accomplished with a surgical scrub. Apply a small amount of the surgical scrub to gauze.

7. Clean by starting in the center and working out toward the edge of the area. Never go back over an area already scrubbed because bacteria can be introduced to the clean area.

8. Guide the needle holder into place with one hand while applying pressure to the vein with the other hand. The vein should be easy to see. Insert the needle through the skin above the center of the vein. Enter about ½ inch deep and into the jugular vein, applying little force.

9. Once the needle is in place, push the stopper of the collection tube onto the back side of the needle. If the needle is in the vein, blood will immediately flow into the tube. If this does not happen, gently withdraw the needle so that the tip comes to the outside of the wall of the vein and re-insert. Gentle probing may be needed to achieve maximum blood flow. Taking the needle all the way out from the skin will lose vacuum in the tube and a new tube is then required.

10. Collect 2 cc or more of blood.

11. Before removing the needle, be sure to remove your left hand so that little blood will flow through the needle insertion site. If blood is visible, press a fingertip over the insertion site until bleeding has stopped.

12. Remove the needle from the needle holder. Discard the needle into a "sharps" container and save the needle holder for re-use.

13. Sequentially label and place an animal ID on the sample vials using a permanent marker.

14. Place the tube in a refrigerator until immediate shipment. Centrifugation of sample and shipment of serum is preferred to shipping whole blood because hemolysis of red cells can compromise the estrone sulfate test.

15. Completely fill out the BioTracking BioPRYNes Pregnancy Horse Test Sample Submission Form and include it inside the shipping box. Please be certain to correctly note the number or samples being sent. Ship with ice. Shipping instructions

16. Ship via FedEx or UPS overnight delivery.

17. Send payment by check or money order.

18. BioTracking will notify the client of test results via fax, phone, or email.

Questions, Information, and Supply Requests – call (208) 882-9736