Blood sampling mink from the saphenous vein:
An alternative to cardiac puncture and tail bleeding
Laboratory Animal Unit, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo
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The saphenous vein
A general article describing blood collection from the saphenous vein in a variety of species is available as a PDF file here.
The saphenous vein of the mink is best accessed between the knee and hock joints. It is not necessary to clip as much hair as shown here, but an area just above the hock joint should be prepared with electrical clippers or a curved pair of scissors.
The branches of the saphenous vein are clearly visible on this dissection. All that has been removed is the overlying skin. The vein branches just above the tarsal (hock) joint. The best site for blood sampling is therefore approximately 1 cm above this joint.
The saphenous vein can be visualized by applying pressure above the knee joint.
The vein is punctured using a relatively large-bore needle to ensure a good flow of blood. In this case an 18-gauge needle has been used.
Blood may be collected in haematocrit tubes, or in small plastic Microtainer tubes as shown here.
The photographs were developed as transparency film and scanned with an Agfa Duoscan T1200 scanner. The files were converted to jpeg format using the programs FotoLook and Corel PhotoPaint.
The spiral icon is from The Icon Bank.
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© Copyright The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science 2003.