Blood DrawingThis is a featured page

Guide to Drawing Blood for Testing Purposes

By Sue Reith.

Materials neededjugular

  • One sterile 10-12cc syringe per animal
  • One sterile 1-inch X 20 gauge needle per syringe
  • One Red-top 10cc Vacutainer per animal
  • One black pen to write a goat ID on each vacutainer
  • Clippers with stripping blade
  • Bottle of Isopropyl alcohol and cotton balls
  • One courageous person to draw blood
  • One sturdy person to restrain goat


I suggest doing this early on a Monday morning, so that it can be taken to the Post Office by noon and shipped Next-Day-Air to WADDL at WSU, because testing is only done on Wednesday.

It’s important that the goat not be able to dance around, as that would make the effort to draw the blood somewhat difficult, if not dangerous. The person designated to restrain the goat plants his/her feet firmly, pulling the goat up close for support, and firmly but gently lifts and holds the goat’s head up and away from the person that will be making the blood draw.

Prepare the needles on the syringes, and have the red-top vacutainers right there beside them.

In the drawing here you will see a ‘jugular’ furrow. That runs up the length of the goat’s neck and can be felt thru the hair coat. The jugular vein, of course, is found along that furrow.

BTW: There is a jugular furrow in the same spot on EACH side of the goat’s neck. So this procedure can be conducted from either the right or the left side of the goat, depending on which is more comfortable for the person doing the blood drawing to use…

Clip away about a 2-inch wide, 3-inch high strip of hair from a mid-section of that jugular furrow area so that you can see what you are doing, and then swab the clipped area with alcohol.

Grasp the syringe in whichever hand you plan to use to do the blood draw (I do so with my left hand, with the hole in the point of the needle facing outward so I can see it), and press the thumb of the other hand firmly in the jugular furrow and hold it there until the jugular vein, with the blood flow stopped, starts to fill up and become apparent. This may take a few tries…

Gently insert (slide) the tip of the needle upward into the swelled vein, and slowly withdraw the plunger, in so doing withdrawing blood from the vein, until ~10cc have been drawn out.

Pull out the needle and place a dry cotton ball over the hole that was made, applying pressure to stop the blood flow. The person restraining the goat can then take over that job while you put the needle into the top of the vacutainer and plunge the entire 10cc of blood into it. Write the identity of that goat on the container before continuing on to the next draw…

As soon as you’re sure the bleeding has stopped, return the goat to its pen and bring out another one, repeating the whole process again until you have finished the entire blood draw!

Box up and take the Red-top vacutainers to the Post Office ASAP for shipping to WADDL.

(While I urge you to share this information with other individual goat owners, please do not alter nor reproduce the article, nor any part thereof, for publication without my specific permission.)

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Latest page update: made by goatguru , Jan 6 2007, 8:23 PM EST (about this update About This Update goatguru Edited by goatguru

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