Blood Collection Guidelines

Common Blood Collection and Injection Sites in Laboratory Animals

Animal Blood Collection Site Single Sample Volume*** Exsanguination Volume*** Blood Injection Site
Mouse Heart*, tail vein or artery, orbital sinus**, lateral saphenous vein 0.2-0.3 ml 1.0-1.5 ml Tail vein
Rat Heart*, saphenous vein, tail vein or artery orbital plexus**, lateral saphenous vein 2-3 ml 8-12 ml Tail vein, saphenous vein
Guinea pig Heart*, saphenous vein, ear vein 4-8 ml 15-30 ml Anterior vena cava, saphenous vein
Hamster Heart*, orbital sinus** 0.5-1.2 ml 3-5 ml No practical IV sites
Gerbil Heart* 0.5-1.0 ml 2-4 ml No practical IV sites
Rabbit Heart*, marginal ear vein (small amounts), auricular artery (large amounts) 20-40 ml 60-160 ml Jugular vein, marginal ear vein, cephalic vein, saphenous vein
Cat Cephalic vein, jugular vein, femoral vein, heart*, recurrent metatarsal vein - - Jugular vein, cephalic vein, femoral vein
Dog Cephalic vein, saphenous vein, femoral vein, jugular vein, heart*, recurrent metatarsal vein - - Jugular vein, cephalic vein, saphenous vein
Sheep Jugular vein - - Jugular vein
Pig Anterior vena cava, jugular vein, ear vein - - Marginal ear vein

* Heart puncture should be performed only on animals under anesthesia. It is recommended only as a terminal procedure.

** These techniques may require anesthesia under procedures established by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

***The Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents: Harkness and Wagner

From ALAT Training Manual, 1998 ed. AALAS.

Veterinary Services
BLOOD REMOVAL
SPECIES

WHOLE BLOOD VOLUME ML/KG 2

% BODY WEIGHT 2 ANIMAL WEIGHT 2 APPROX. ABSOLUTE BLOOD VOLUMES PER WT. 2 AVAILABLE VOLUME WHEN BLED OUT ML/KG 3 MAXIMUM SAFE VOLUME AT ONE BLEEDING DURING LIFE ML/KG 3 PRACTICABLE VOLUME FOR DIAGNOSTIC USE IN ML FROM A NORMAL ADULT 3
CAT

56

5.6 4.5 KG 300 ML 35 7 1
CATTLE

60

- - - 30 7 100
CHICKEN

60

- - - 40 9 1
DOG

86

8.6 14 KG 1200 ML 45 9 2
FERRET

75

- - - - - -
G. PIG

75

7.5 90 G 68 ML 35 7 0.5
GERBIL

67

- - - - - -
GOAT

70

- - - 30 7 20
HAMSTER

78

- - - - - -
HORSE

75

- - - 40 8 100
MOUSE

79

- - - 35 7 0.1
PIG

65

- - - 25 6 10
RABBIT

56 (70)

5.5 3.2 KG 180 ML 35 7 1
RAT

64

6.4 300 G 20 ML 20 5 0.25
SHEEP

60

- - - 25 6 20
1LAB ANIMALS (1993) 27, 1-22
   STRESS SHOULD BE CONTROLLED IN ORDER NOT TO OBTAIN INACCURATE DATA
   RETRO-ORBITAL BLEEDING IS ONLY ACCEPTABLE AS A TERMINAL PROCEDURE UNDER ANEST. 
        EXCEPTION: SHOULD BE UNDER ANESTHESIA AND ONLY ONE EYE
   USE OF XYLENE TO DILATE THE VEIN IS NOT RECOMMENDED AS IT CAUSES SKIN RASHES, SLOUGHING, ETC.
2 ILAR NEWS, VOL 31, NO. 4, FALL 1989
   10% OF CIRCULATING BLOOD CAN BE TAKEN EVERY 3-4 WEEKS WITHOUT HARM
   7.5% OF BLOOD VOLUME PER WEEK WITHOUT HARM FOR RABBITS
   1% OF CIRCULATING BLOOD CAN BE TAKEN EVERY 24 HOURS WITHOUT HARM
   ANESTHESIA AFFECTS SPLEEN CONTRACTION IN SOME ANIMALS LEADING TO INCREASED RBC, PCV, AND Hb
   SOME CAUSE RELAXATION SUCH AS XYLAZINE, ACETYLPROMAZINE, DIAZEPAM, AND BARBITURATES
   SOME CAUSE CONTRACTION INITIALLY AND LATER RELAXATION SO TIME OF COLLECTION AFTER INJECTION IS IMPORTANT
   ANIMALS HIGHLY REACTIVE - CATS, DOGS, SHEEP, AND GOATS
   ANIMALS WITH UNREACTIVE SPLEENS - PRIMATES, BIRDS, REPTILES
3 COMPARATIVE CLINICAL HAEMATOLOGY (1977) ARCHER & JEFFCOTT
   0.5 ML/KG OF BLOOD IS NORMALLY SAFE TO TAKE

Veterinary Services
NORMAL HEMATOLOGICAL VALUES 1
SPECIES PCV (%) RBC (10 12 /L Hb (G/DL) RETICULOCYTE (% RBC) WBC (10 9/L) CLOTTING TIMES
(SECONDS)
CAT

30-50

6.0-10.0 4-14 0-1.0 5.5-19.5 -
CATTLE

24-46

5-10 8-15 - 4-12 -
CHICKEN

23-55

23-55 1.25-4.5 7.0-18.6 9-31 -
DOG

38-53

4.5-8.0 11-18 0-1.5 6.0-17.0 180
FERRET

35-51

11.3 12-17.4 - 2.5-15.4 -
G. PIG

35-42

4.5-7.0 11-17 1.8-6.1 10 -
GERBIL

48

7.0-10.0 12-17 - 4.3-21 -
GOAT

29-38

13.0-18.0 8-14 - 5.0-14.0 60-300
HAMSTER

39-59

4.0-10.0 2-30 - 7.6 55
MOUSE

35-45

7.7-12.5 10-20 3.3-13.3 8 120-600
PIG

30-50

5.0-9.0 10-16 - 7.0-20.0 60-300
RABBIT

30-50

4.5-7.0 8-15 2.9-8.0 9 60-360
RAT

35-45

7.2-9.6 12-18 1.7-21.1 14 20
SHEEP

29-38

8.0-14.0 10-12 - 4.0-12.0 60-300






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