In this section

Dog : Jugular vein (non-surgical)

Dogs are intelligent and can be trained to sit calmly on a table for blood sampling. They will remember receiving a reward (e.g. food treat) after the procedure, which can make them easier to handle on subsequent occasions.

Sampling from the jugular vein is quick and simple as the vein is superficial and easily accessible. It is appropriate for small and large blood samples. View this non-surgical technique below.

The dog is restrained manually. Sampling sites are alternated between the two jugular veins, starting distally at the base of the neck and moving towards the head along the jugular groove. The vein is raised by compressing it just dorsal to the thoracic inlet, ventral to the venepuncture site. Aseptic technique should be used, including clipping the hair around the sampling site. 2 - 20 ml of blood can be taken per sample and, depending on sample volume, up to eight samples in a 24-hour period; more frequent sampling can cause bruising. The number of attempts to obtain blood should be minimised to a maximum of three needle sticks for each sample. Bleeding should be stopped, before the dog is returned to its pen, by finger pressure to the sampling site for approximately 30 seconds.

Number of samples:

No more than eight blood samples should be taken in any 24 hour period.

Sample volume:

2 - 20 ml


21G (preferably 1" long) needle

Staff resource:

Two people are required to blood sample; one for restraining and raising the vein of the dog, and one for taking the blood sample.

Adverse effects :

  • Infection <1%
  • Swelling/haematoma 1-5%
  • Clipper rash can occur if the hair is not clipped carefully with well-maintained clippers.


Stress associated with the technique can be minimised by training and acclimatising the dogs to manual restraint and the sound of the clippers beforehand. A reward (e.g. food treat) should always be provided.



  • OrageneĽANIMAL from DNA Genotek, Inc  (2009), Non-invasive DNA collection from dogs
    Open Link


  • A good practice guide to the administration of substances and removal of blood, including routes and volumes. 
    Open Link
    View PDF

  • Ooms TG, Way HL, Bley JA Jr (2004), Clinical and hematological effects of serial phlebotomy performed on laboratory beagles. Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science. 43(3),  pp 38-42

  • Lucas RL, Lentz KD, Hale AS (2004), Collection and preparation of blood products. Clinical Techniques in Small Animal Practice. 19(2),  pp 55-62

  • Millis DL, Hawkins E, Jager M, Boyle CR (1995), Comparison of coagulation test results for blood samples obtained by means of direct venipuncture and through a jugular vein catheter in clinically normal dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 207(10),  pp 1311-1314

  • Jensen AL, Wenck A, Koch J, Poulsen JS (1994), Comparison of results of haematological and clinical chemical analyses of blood samples obtained from the cephalic and external jugular veins in dogs. Research in Veterinary Science. 56(1),  pp 24-29

  • Removal of blood from laboratory animals and birds. 
    View PDF (131KB)