- Resources and references
- Tarsal vein sampling technique in other animals
- All blood sampling techniques in the guinea pig
Please read the general principles of blood sampling page before attempting any blood sampling procedure.
This technique is suitable for all strains of guinea pig but is difficult to perform and, given the high degree of haemorrhage in the subcutaneous tissue, should be avoided unless there is good scientific justification.
The tarsal vein is easily accessible. The guinea pig is held and the foot restrained. Gentle pressure is applied by massaging above the point (proximally to the animal) at which the blood sample is taken to dilate the vessel. A maximum of three samples can be taken from each hind leg and 0.1 - 0.3 ml of blood can be collected per sample. Samples should be rotated between the hind legs and should be removed first distal to the animal (between the toes) and moved proximally to the animal (towards the ankle). No more than six samples, using both the hind legs should be taken in any 24-hour period. If more blood is needed, other forms of blood sampling should be used, such as surgical cannulation. The number of attempts to take a blood sample should be minimised (no more than two needle sticks in any one attempt).
The technique should be performed aseptically, including removal of hair around the sampling site with a trimmer and sterilising the sampling area. Some haemorrhage in the subcutaneous tissue surrounding the vessel is unavoidable and it can be difficult to stem the blood flow after the blood sample has been taken. Finger pressure on soft tissue for approximately two minutes should be applied to the sampling site and the animal should not be returned to its cage until bleeding stops. Return the animal to a clean cage can reduce the risk of infection.
|Number of samples||No more than six blood samples should be taken in any 24-hour period.|
|Sample volume||0.1 - 0.3 ml|
|Equipment||23G needle or lance|
|Staff resource||Two people are required, one to take the blood sample and the other to restrain the guinea pig.|
|Other||Good animal handling is required to restrain the guinea pig for both the shaving and taking the blood sample.|
- Birck A, Malene M et al (2014). Non-terminal blood sampling techniques in guinea pigs. Journal of visualized experiments: JoVE 92: e51982-e51982
This technique is only appropriate for use in the guinea pig.