Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Venipuncture

Synonym(s): Blood collection, Phlebotomy

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Lesa Thompson

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Introduction

  • Blood samples can be collected from reptiles using a variety of methods depending upon the peculiarities of the species, volume of blood needed, size of the reptile, physical condition of the patient, and preference of the collector.
  • The site of blood sample collection will influence the hematologic values because lymphatic vessels often accompany blood vessels in reptiles.
  • Sampling volume:
    • Total blood volume in reptiles is estimated to range between 5-8% of body weight.
    • Most reptile species can tolerate withdrawal of up to 10% of the total blood volume (1% of the body weight) without detrimental effects (in healthy individuals).
    • Typically, only 0.2-0.3 mL of blood is required for analysis.

Uses

  • Collection of blood for analysis.

Advantages

  • Simple technique in many animals.

Disadvantages

  • Lymph often appears as transparent fluid entering the syringe immediately prior to the appearance of blood and will dilute the cellular components of the blood, resulting in lower packed cell volume (PCV), hemoglobin concentration (Hb), erythrocyte count (TRBC), and leukocyte count (TWBC).
  • If this occurs, discard the syringe and attempt sample collection again.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Eshar D, Lapid R & Head V (2018) Transilluminated jugular blood sampling in the common chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon). J Herpetol Med Surg 28 (1), 19-22 JHerpMedSurg.
  • Di Giuseppe M, Morici M, Martinez Silvestre A & Spadola F (2017) Jugular vein venipuncture technique in small lizard species. J Small Anim Pract 58 (4), 249 PubMed.
  • Naguib M (2016) How to take blood from a tortoise. UK Vet Comp Anim 21 (7), 422-425 MAGOnlineLibrary.

Other sources of information

  • Campbell T (2014) Peripheral Blood in Reptiles. In: Exotic Animal Hematology and Cytology. 4th edn. Wiley Blackwell, USA. pp 67-87.
  • Hernandez-Divers S J (2006) Diagnostic Techniques. In: Reptile Medicine and Surgery. 2nd edn. Ed: Mader D R. Saunders Elsevier, USA. pp 490-532.

Reproduced with permission from Terry W Campbell: Exotic Animal Hematology and Cytology © 2015, published by John Wiley & Sons.


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