Norwegian school of veterinary Science and *Norwegian live independence Meat Association, OsloSee also:

A file on this subject has been published formerly in Norwegian:

Framstad T., Sjaastad Ø. And Aass R.A. (1988): Blodprøvetaking på gris. Norsk Veterinærtidsskrift 100(4): 265-272.

You are watching: Do pigs have veins blood vessels

Most that the images are also easily accessible on loan as a slide collection from the Library at the Norwegian university of Life Sciences, veterinarian Campus, in Oslo. This presentation was ready for the net by Adrian Smith.

A video clip film of blood sampling in pigs is available here.

Click top top the thumbnail images to download a huge version of every image.Use her browser\"s \"Back\" button to go back to this page after the town hall the big images.

The ear veins

The marginal ear veins are the only veins the are quickly visible top top pigs of any kind of size. Generally there are three prominent veins. The lateral or central vein is commonly the largest of these. The ear veins space branches that the caudal auricular vein and also the superficial cervical vein. Your pattern, anastomoses and relative sizes differ from pig come pig.

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The pig in the photo weighs around 7 kg. An assistant hold the pig across his lap and also at the very same time raises the vein. The illustration reflects the use of a 22 gauge needle. Occasionally it may assist if the finger offered to raise the vein tenderness pumps the vessel.

Pigs can not sweat and also blood circulation through the ears is crucial for temperature regulation. In a warm setting the veins are more dilated and also blood collection is facilitated.

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When the vein has actually been punctured, the emerging blood have the right to be collected directly by capillary action into ideal tubes. This an approach is an ideal for measurement of haematocrit and haemoglobin levels, and also for do blood smears. Tubes provided to collection blood for haematocrit measurement must be coated v an anticoagulant. The tube most regularly used because that haemoglobin dimensions (20 microlitres) are not treated in this way. The dilution liquid used for haemoglobin measurement must thus be obtainable at hand so that the blood deserve to be blown right into that fluid immediately after collection.

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It is possible to undertake intravenous injections making use of the ear veins also on child piglets. This are organized in the same method as was illustrated on the 2 previous pictures. Very thin needles, such as 25 gauge, need to be supplied on the very smallest pigs. The pig on this photograph is larger, and a 23 gauge needle is in use. The veins are thin-walled and are conveniently perforated. It deserve to prove complicated to close the syringe come the needle as soon as it is in ar in the vein. The syringe should as such be fastened come the needle before venepuncture, and also the operator need to gently aspirate as the needle is inserted. The operator will see and also feel the needle in the vein. The is a an excellent idea to start on the peripheral part of the vein. Then it is feasible to shot again nearer the head if the very first attempt is unsuccessful.

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The needle and ear room fixed in between the operator\"s thumb and forefinger. Once this has been done, the assistant can stop elevating the vein and the injection can begin. For handy reasons, the injection should be performed fairly quickly, and the lot that deserve to be injected is therefore somewhat limited.

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Infusion sets are likewise commercially available, consisting of a tube associated to a needle. This \"butterfly needles\" need to be fastened to the skin utilizing adhesive tape or a louse. Their great advantage is the versatility of the tubing. These sets are obtainable in a range of sizes, such together 19 and also 21 gauge.

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This photo shows the central ear vein (the intermediary auricular vein) ~ above a young sow. The animal has been offered azaperone together a sedative. This compound has the included advantage of leading to peripheral vasodilatation, making the vein much more readily accessible.

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A venous catheter equipped with a stiletto (Braunule, 18 gauge) has actually been put into the vein. The stiletto is retained completely within the needle until blood appears. The is then partially withdrawn and also the catheter is put into the ear vein. The catheter shown has a \"wing\" that help handling. It may be viewed on the snapshot between the operator\"s forefinger and also thumb. A comparable wing is an installed on the stiletto. A suitable size catheter because that slaughter pigs and also young sows is 18 gauge. On bigger sows 16 gauge catheters might be used. This last size is likewise useful on sick pets in urgent require of intravenous fluids.

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The catheter has actually been placed right approximately the wing. It must now it is in fastened, for example by a louse. This grasps the end of the catheter at the junction v the wing and additionally grips the skin. This an approach ensures the the catheter continues to be in place also if the animal shakes that head fairly violently.

The external jugular vein

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Blood samples indigenous adult pigs are most frequently taken from the exterior jugular vein. The pet must be held using a snout rope and the neck must be extended well upwards. This is best achieved if the pig stand on all four legs. The rope is put behind the canine this so that it does not slip off so easily or relocate rostrally towards the nasal cartilage, one area that plainly is uncomfortable because that pigs. The pet will try to relocate backwards and in that means tighten the rope suficiently. The is thus not crucial to avoid the pig from moving forwards.

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The correct suggest of venepuncture is depicted in this picture. The needle need to be directed caudo-dorsally, in this case perpendicular come the skin.

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The picture is a close-up check out of the neck that the very same sow, taken indigenous the side. The correct puncture site is in the deepest point of the jugular groove formed in between the medial sternocephalic and lateral brachiocephalic muscles. This website is marked on the photo by a black color dot. Right-handed operators will certainly usually find it most basic to use the animal\"s appropriate jugular vein.

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A vacuum tube has been connected, and also the needle inserted in its complete length. This is important, because these needles are really contempt too brief for huge sows, and also the adipose tissue over the vein must because of this be compressed somewhat. Blood is checked out entering the glass tube.

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This picture shows the same case as in the vault illustration, however the snapshot has been taken diagonally from in front. The jugular groove is quickly seen. In stimulate to show the method as well together possible, the needle holder is only hosted in location on this photo and the ahead one through the operator\"s forefinger. In truth this holder have to be held much more firmly.

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It is critical that the needle holder is hosted firmly if the operator desire to readjust vacuum tubes. This picture shows a great method of law this. The blood sample is gift taken in the right external jugular vein. The operator hold the needle holder v his left hand, in ~ the very same time pressing it gently versus the sow\"s neck. He offers his right hand to change tube.

Bleeding methods for smaller sized pigs

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This photo depicts the venous drainage in the neck the piglets.A: the cephalic vein. This drains into:B: the outside jugular veinC: the interior jugular veinB and also C anastomose and form the communal jugular veinD: the finish of the sternum (manubrium), significant in black

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In pigs weighing less than 50 kg that is an advantage to collection blood further caudally (and much more medially) in the jugular groove, nearer the manubrium. Relying on the puncture site, angle and also depth of penetration, blood will certainly be collected from one of the vessels illustrated in the ahead picture. It is difficult to say with certainty i m sorry vessel is punctured. An assistant have the right to hold pigs increase to around 20 kg on your lap. The assistant holds the forelegs in one hand, and also the animal\"s head in the other. The manubrium and also puncture website are significant in black.
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For pigs that this size it is a good idea to use a syringe and also needle. The needle is fastened and also filled with anticoagulant. For piglets, needles of 23 gauge should be used, when 22 gauge needles have the right to be provided on slightly larger pigs. When the needle has actually penetrated the skin, the operator must aspirate together he gentlly pushes the needle forwards. Blood have to be apparent after 10-25 mm, depending on which courage is punctured. As soon as blood flows into the needle, it must be hosted firmly come avoid further movement. The operator deserve to place his hand ~ above the pig as displayed to stable the needle.

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This snapshot shows venepuncture on a smaller pig, photographed from the side. The pig lies in between the assistant\"s thighs, and also only the head and forelimbs room held. The head must not be stretched too much backwards, as this impairs air flow through the neck region.

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For lull of blood collection, and also to avoid problems if the pig is restless, the needle may be connected to a plastic tube.

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Pigs weighing in between 20 and also 50 kg have the right to either be held on their backs in a \"trough\" or immobilized with a snout rope as shown on the picture. This pig weighs around 40 kg. The manubrium is marked in black.

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The cephalic vein have the right to be offered for blood repertoire in newborn piglets and weanling animals. The will only be possible to withdraw tiny amounts of blood from animals weighing much less than 10-15 kg. As soon as they sweet 20-50 kg, the is possible, v some training, to retract blood virtually as quickly just like the various other methods described here. The pig is to adjust on its ago in a \"trough\". The forelimbs are extended backwards and also slightly the end from the animal. This position permits the vein to extend in an ext of a straight line and it becomes an ext accessible. The vein and manubrium are marked in black.

The milk vein

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The milk vein (the subcutanous abdominal vein) is quickly visible lateral to the teats on smaller pigs. The pet in the picture weighs about 30 kg. The vein travels subcutaneously on the lateral part of the abdominal muscle musculature. The vein can often be palpated together a groove in this muscle.

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For blood sampling a vacuum tube and also a 20 gauge needle is used. The needle is inserted where the vein is many visible. ~ above the photo it has been placed in a cranial direction just lateral come the 2nd teat. The vein shows up larger in this photograph since of a little haematoma. The vein fills maximally during expiration, a wave of blood is regularly seen as expiration begins. The is often an benefit to bending the needle slightly at the point where it joins the plastic needle holder, so the the holder remains above the skin. In this means the operator prevents sticking also deeply.

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Pigs weighing more than 50 kg have to be immobilized as defined earlier utilizing a snout rope. The vein is palpated and the skin is punctured in ~ the point where the vein is felt most clearly. The vacuum tube is then connected and also the needle is very closely moved around until the vein is punctured. The picture shows a young sow. The operator is was standing on the animal\"s best side and inserts the needle rostrally. This is usually thought about to it is in the best position for right-handed operators. On the animal\"s left side it is usually most basic to insert the needle caudally.

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This photo shows one old sow ~ weaning. The vein is punctured in between the mammary glands. This is where the milk vein is most basic to palpate. The vein may be hidden by the glands top top sows through well-developed udders. In pigs from about 5 months of age and also upwards it has actually been stated that the is possible, with training, to acquire enough blood because that serological investigations in about 90% the cases. The method has the advantage of being fairly easy to learn, and also the operator is slightly further away indigenous the noise source! In some sows the is possible to collection blood making use of this method without any kind of immobilization if they room lying under or standing in your pen.

The tail vein

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The medial caudal vein lies in a groove under the tail, beside the artery. The operator raises the tail through one hand and punctures the vein through the other. Vacuum tubes and 20 gauge needles are used. The puncture website is at the very first freely movable tail joint. This is roughly the fifth tail vertebra. In adult pigs the needle have to be put at an edge of 45 levels to the skin. In smaller pigs that is encourage to host the tail nearly horizontally and also to stick the needle in virtually parallel to the skin.

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This photo shows a close-up of blood repertoire in the medial caudal vein. It is challenging to obtain large amounts that blood also in large pigs. The artery lies right next to the vein, and also arterial blood is no uncommonly collected instead. Over there is, however, no undue hazard in acquisition blood indigenous this site.

Catheterisation

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In experiments wherein it is crucial to take frequent blood samples, it may be desirable to insert a long-term venous catheter. This may be inserted in the outside jugular vein. The catheter is placed under general anaesthesia, and also is tunnelled dorsocaudally come the neck, using a metal rod. The catheter is led out with the skin via a tiny incision. The is then possible to take blood samples there is no disturbing or stressing the animal.

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The finish of the catheter deserve to be covert in a little bag sewn onto the skin. The bag can be opened and also closed as forced (the bag is homemade). After blood tap the money the catheter is rinsed through a heparin solution. The catheter can likewise be supplied for injections or infusions.

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Other techniques:

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This picture, kindly offered by Dr. William Campaigne in ~ Lone Star laboratory Swine, Sequin, Texas, USA, demonstrates the use of the tail vein because that blood collection.