Article  Teaching Module 

Reptile Venipuncture Teaching Module

Hematology and biochemistry results serve as an important part of the minimum database for all veterinary patients. Three “Blood Collection” videos, or text with still images, offer step-by-step guidance on popular venipuncture techniques in lizards, snakes, and chelonians. The objective of these resources, along with the General Principles of Reptile Venipuncture video or slideshow, is to improve the veterinary professional’s ability to obtain a clinically useful sample.

Article  Video 

Blood Collection in Turtles and Tortoises

Successful venipuncture can be a challenge in turtles and tortoises, however hematology and biochemistry results serve as an important part of the minimum database in chelonians just as they do for all veterinary patients. Use this video, or text with still images, to review the equipment needed and sample handling recommendations as well as the potential complications and proper approach to the jugular vein, brachial vein, subcarapacial vessel, and dorsal coccygeal sinus in the chelonian.

Article  Video 

Blood Collection in Lizards

Hematology and biochemistry results are an important part of the minimum database for all veterinary patients, including lizards. Proper venipuncture technique is critical for accurate interpretation of laboratory results. Blood samples are most frequently collected from the ventral coccygeal vein and jugular vein in lizards; however, the site selected can depend on a variety of factors including the preferences and experience of the phlebotomist, the volume of blood needed, patient size and temperament, and of course the species involved.

Article  Video 

Blood Collection in Snakes

Proper patient handling, blood collection technique and sample handling are all critical for accurate interpretation of hematology and biochemistry in all patients, including snakes. Use the video or text with still images to review equipment needed as well as the potential complications and proper approach to the ventral coccygeal vein and the heart, the two most common venipuncture sites in the snake.

Slideshow  Video 

General Principles of Reptile Venipuncture

Hematology and biochemistry results serve as an important part of the minimum database for all veterinary patients. Although collection of blood samples can be a clinical challenge in reptiles, the method of patient handling, blood collection and sampling techniques are all critical for proper interpretation of laboratory results. This brief video or slideshow with still images reviews the basic principles of reptile venipuncture that should be considered before, during, and after the procedure.

Article 

Venipuncture in Birds

Blood work is considered a basic diagnostic test in every species, including birds. Venipuncture may be indicated for wellness screening, sample collection for DNA sexing, evaluation of the ill or injured bird, as well as collection of blood for transfusion. The value of testing must always be weighed against the stress of venipuncture since the critically ill bird may not be stable enough for restraint. This article reviews equipment needed, the volume of the blood sample, general tips for blood collection, common venipuncture sites in the bird, and sample handling.

Article 

Blood Collection in Sugar Gliders

Blood collection is challenging in sugar gliders. Heavy sedation or general anesthesia, using isoflurane or sevoflurane, is almost always required in clinical practice. The most common sites for blood collection in the glider are the jugular vein and the…

Article 

Blood Collection in Rats and Mice

Blood collection is challenging in rats and mice, and heavy sedation or general anesthesia is almost always required in clinical practice. Increasing patient body temperature to promote vasodilation can also be helpful. Gently warm the rodent by placing its cage on a heating pad set on low or by placing the cage in an incubator set at 39°C (102°F) for 5 to 10 minutes. Monitor the patient carefully…

Article  Video 

Blood Collection in Ferrets

All but the weakest ferrets can be challenging to restrain for blood collection. Consider sedation or general anesthesia, particularly if the handler or phlebotomist is relatively inexperienced; however remember that anesthesia can affect ferret hematology.

Use this video clip or article with still images to review equipment needed, and potential venipuncture sites including the jugular vein, cranial vena cava, lateral saphenous vein, and cephalic vein.

Article 

Venipuncture in Small Mammals

Hematological and serum chemistry tests are considered part of the minimum database, yet collecting blood samples from small mammals can be extremely challenging. This review article reviews the recommended venipuncture site in popular exotic companion mammals including many rodents, rabbits, ferrets, hedgehogs, and sugar gliders. Sample collection from peripheral vessels including the cephalic, saphenous, tail, jugular, ear, and submandibular vein is discussed.
Blind venipuncture sites such as the cranial vena cava and femoral vessels are also described. Veterinary health professionals are also acquainted with the potential risks associated with blood collection from these small species, especially those presenting in advanced diseased states. Tips for clinical success are also shared.