Obtaining Blood from the ear of a canine!

Thank you Shelley for taking time to help others!!
Peaches you are such a good boy for letting your Mom do this!
First of all I might mention getting a flashlight and looking through the ear. You can see where the veins line
the outer rim pretty clearly this way. Although I prick just about anywhere on Peaches ear and can get
blood - but what I have found MOST important is to heat the ear up VERY WARM!!

#1 Heating the Ear
   Heating the ear is what I consider to be most important!! I use a wet washcloth (pretty HOT) and wrap
it around the tip of his entire ear for a good 10 seconds. He sometimes gets a little ancy - but it's a MUST
in my book :) I have to get such a big drop of blood for my meter.

#2  Apply Vaseline 
I also consider the Vaseline a MUST when testing :) 
Even though I shave his inner ears - it still helps enormously. 

So after I have heated his ear, I quickly dab a small amount and apply it to the inside of his ear 
(usually towards the top outer part). But I have actually got blood from the center of his ear too. 
I used to use the flashlight alot - and try to hit a vein....but once I saw that the heated washcloth
did the trick - I could almost prick him anywhere and blood would appear. 

Oh- and also - I have applied too much Vaseline in the past (after many times of experience) and it
can interfere with the reading. But you will usually be able to tell because it will show (glossy) on the strip.
I have to watch that - and only get BLOOD on the center of the strip - not Vaseline :) 


A close up picture of the above!

 #3  Prick Ear with Lancet 
I use the lancet only. I fold his ear over and put my left middle finger directly under the area where 
I will be applying the pressure of the lancet. It's almost a feeling like if the needle were to go through -
it would hit my finger. It helps to keep a flat steady base prior to pricking...
Then I use my (left) thumb and index finger to help keep his ear flapped over in a bi-fold position.
It's like you only need 3 fingers to actually hold the ear just right before pricking.....which I use
my right hand. I prick right in-between the index finger and thumb....and then immediately lift
the lancet off the skin to allow the blood to start flowing. 

A close up of the above picture!

#4  Squeeze to get Blood 
This part is probably the hardest for me since I have to bring the strip to Peaches ear and then place it in 
the meter. He sometimes loses his patience by this time....but usually he does pretty good. This is the
part where if you don't see any blood after pricking him....then you would lay the lancet down and 
automatically start massaging the area around where you pricked. But to tell you the truth - if I don't 
see blood after pricking him - I usually start over with a hot washcloth because I just don't have the 
patience to sit there and massage and keep massaging hoping for a big drop of blood :() 
So this picture is actually where I pricked him and I still have my fingers in the same place as when I used 
the lancet  because I got a pretty good amount of blood (as you can tell). So I just drop the lancet 
and immediately pick up the test strip and apply it to his ear....

A close up of the above picture!

#5 Apply Strip to Ear
Here are a couple pictures of me applying the strip to the ear... another shot at a little different angle....
but as you can tell I still have my index finger on the back side of his ear....with the middle finger 
and thumb around the area that I pricked. The other 2 fingers are just useless .. LOL

A different view

Note from Judy:
(Some machines use strips that suck the blood in and that would make this last step easier)
Like the machine sold at www.animaldiabetes.com

 More Blood Testing Picture Tutorials

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We are not  veterinarians.
This information is provided to help you with caring
for your diabetic pet and is not meant to replace
your veterinarian's own advice.