???? on do it yourself blood draws

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by liz, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Here goes....I'm really wanting to have my goats tested, but the thought of doing the blood draws scares the heck outta me!
    1. How do you keep the goat still?
    2. What are the chances of having a bleed out?
    3. HOW DO YOU ALL DO IT? ( I'm scared witless just thinking about it!)
    4. Can you do it on your own or do you need to have a helper?

    Please, remember that 7 of my 8 have horns, is it done any differently as far as the holding goes for horned goats?
  2. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Liz the only thing I have to offer is that the vet came out and drew blood while I was holding them by the horns with one hand under the
    We had her up against fence; one knee on her shoulder & the other in her flank.
    It went well.

  3. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Liz - honestly with having no experience with blood draws and almost all having horns - I would NEVER suggest trying to do them on your own.

    I would have someone stand over the goats - straddle them - then you go for the juggler - lol!!

    It is a bit hard to explain ---- I really really need to make the video. Maybe if this lady comes up to learn how to blood draw - I can have her video it for us.....

    I will have to write it all out - draw pictures - and see how that goes - LOL!!
  4. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    Horned goats are trickier. The last horned goats i drew on were Boers and they were pains. But I think boers are even bigger babies than Nigerians. lol

    It's much easier with two people to draw blood on a goat. One person to draw the other to hold the goat. Take them by the horns and lift their head up a bit to expose their neck. Finger against the side of their neck to make a vein pop out. Then you stick the needle in and when you get really good you can tell if your in the vein just by the feel of it going in. Pull back on the plunger a little to see if you get blood. If you don't then you can pull back or go deeper with the needle to see if you went through the vein or didn't go deep enough. You can try moving the needle to the side a bit if your sure, but I don't like to fish too much for a vein. If I don't get it by pulling the needle in or out a bit then I usually just re-stick. Don't be discouraged if you have to stick them a couple times. When you pull the needle out make sure you put your finger over the puncture hole to stop the blood from leaking out of the vein and causing a hemotoma.

    There is a risk of cutting the vein open with the needle, it's slight but always possible. If I draw blood on other people's goats I always let them know that this could happen. It's very very rare that a goat would die from a blood draw, but it can happen since we are drawing from the jugular. I did cut the vein a bit on one of my goats. She got a huge lump on her neck that took two weeks to go away. It was because she twisted her neck sharp while the needle was still in. If you ever notice a lump starting to form when you are drawing blood you should take the needle out right away and apply firm pressure.

    Once you have the blood in the syringe put it in the tube, label it, and your done.

    You may want to shave their necks, it makes it easier to find the vein.

    For hornless goats I put the head between my knees and turn their head a bit to the side + up.
  5. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    I agree that having someone to help is best. My first step is the day before i get my tubes ready, i label them all with the goats DOB name and sex, mostly for my reference but some for the lab as well. I also go out to the pasture the day before and shave the front of their necks right under their throat latch area. This way i can see veins better. i usually draw blood in february so they are still fuzzy. I get all my packing stuff together a small box (a cell phone box works great) several ziplock baggies, the kind with the little slid thing. The tubes go in two different bas (double bagged) in case a tube breaks in route to the lab. all paperwork goes in a seperate back. I pack everything securly with tissue paper or kleenex. as for the blood draw itself i have never done horned goats. But i have the holder stradle the goat (stand over her shoulder) we back her up against a wall or fence so she cant go any futher back. hold the head straight foreward and slightly up. If you twist the head the veins tend to move. You go in just like you would with a person (its hard to explain but if you have ever watched a doctor go for a vein you go in like that) the needle pointed up towards the goats jaw. the jugular goes down the neck on either side of their trachea. I put my thumb over it and let it 'fill' a little, you will actually be able to see it moving with the blood pumping through it. gently go into the vein and pull back on the needle a little if you get blood youre in the right spot. If you dont blood youre either too far or not far enough and need to adjust accordingly. generall i try and take three cc's of blood (there is a mininum) If youre only runnin CAE you wont need as much, if youre runnig CL CAE johnes you will need a bit more. when you pull the needle out slib your thumb over the puncture hole for a few seconds.
    It sounds complicated. But i think its one os the easiest maintenance things to do.
  6. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Sounds easy enough, but how do you get the nerve up to do it?
  7. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    Well i show my goats, CAe is kind of a mandatory thing for my herd (coming from me) I fell better selling kids when i can show the potetial owner the paper saying my herd is CAE and CL free. Its kind of like dehorning or worming for me. Though not as easy to do as worming but its just part of my yearly health routine. Its something i have always done for the better of my herd.
  8. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Liz--I still get a little nervous everytime...but I guess that's good because it makes me really concentrate on what I'm doing.

    I follow a similar procedure to everyone else. With a helper holding the head up, I shave slightly to the LEFT (goat's left) of the center of the front of the neck. I then use the crotch of my thumb and index finger to apply pressure on the front of the neck, near the base. You should see the vein right away--it is very large, probably about the width of a pinky finger. I take the syringe with my right hand and insert the needle almost strait up into the vein--if you try to go in at a 90 degree angle you will almost surely go through both sides of the vein. Then I pull back the plunger and wait for syringe to fill. When I take out the needle, I hold a cotton ball over the injection site for a few seconds and as long as there's only a spot of blood they get to go on their merry way.

    I forgot to mention above that I do swab the area where I'm going to draw blood with alcohol first...and I also swab the top of the collection tube before I put the blood into it.