How to Draw Blood

How To Draw Blood

1. Be sure the animal is held securely in proper restraint equipment or properly sedated to prevent injury to the animal or handler.

2. Clip the animal’s neck to see the jugular vein. Use electric shears to shave a patch approximately 4 inches wide by 8 inches long. Shaving an area allows for easier viewing of the vein and provides a clean area in order to minimize the chance of introducing dirt or bacteria into the vein with the needle.
Note: Blood sampling can be done with assistance or alone; however, producers who are new at blood sampling will benefit from having assistance.

3. The assistant should turn the head of the animal to the side, at a 30-degree angle, by holding the animal under its jaw to allow for easy access to the vein. The animal’s body may also need to be restrained.

4. Locate the vein easily by drawing an imaginary line from the middle of the animal’s eye down the side of her neck. The vein can be located by applying pressure with the thumb or fingers in the groove on either side of the trachea and below the half-way point of the shaved area. The pressure will cause the vein to pop up and be easily seen.

5. Once the vein has been located, the area needs to be properly cleaned to keep bacteria out of the needle insertion site. This is accomplished using surgical scrub on the area.

6. Apply a small amount of the surgical scrub to a few pieces of gauze. Squeeze some of the excess scrub out of the gauze before applying it to the animal to make the process easier.

7. The area should be cleaned by starting in the center and working out toward the edge. Never go back over a place that has already been wiped, because bacteria could be carried back into the clean area.

8. Once the area has been cleaned and the vein has been located, the blood can be drawn. This can be done using a needle, needle holder and a blood collection tube.

9. The needle holder should be guided into place with the right hand while the left hand is used to apply pressure to the vein. The vein should be easy to see and feel. Try to aim for the center so you will have more of a chance of placing the needle within the vein.

10. Inserting the needle does not require great force. Apply just enough pressure to break through the skin and enter the jugular vein.


11. Once the needle is in place, apply pressure so that the blood collection tube is pushed onto the needle. If the needle is in the vein, blood will start to fill the container immediately. 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 prodding may be needed to achieve maximum blood flow.

12. Collect 2 cc or more of blood.

13. Before removing the needle, the handler should be sure to remove their left hand, to prevent blood from exiting through the insertion site. Also, be
sure to remove the blood collection tube from the needle holder to prevent the loss of the vacuum in the blood collection tube. If the needle is removed from the skin first, the vacuum will be lost and a new blood collection tube will be needed.

14. After the needle has been removed from the skin, press fingertip over the area where the needle was inserted. A small red dot may appear on the animal’s neck from the needle insertion site. This is normal and is nothing about which to be concerned.

15. Use a permanent marker to label each tube with a tube sequence number (at minimum) and additionally with an animal ID or tag number.

16. Place the blood collection tube in the refrigerator until shipment.

17. Unscrew the needle from the needle holder, discard the needle into a "sharps" container and re-use the needle holder. A new needle must be used for each animal.

18. Completely fill out the BioTracking BioPRYN®wild Pregnancy Test Submission Form. Please be certain that the total number of samples sent is correct. Return samples to the laboratory in a box. Shipping Instructions

19. Utilize FedEX, USPS or UPS to ship samples to the laboratory. Make certain that the BioTracking BioPRYNwild Pregnancy Submission Form accompanies the samples.

20. Payment for services may be enclosed in packaging otherwise an invoice will be emailed upon sample arrival.

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

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