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Why use jugular vein?

Species: Cat
Breed: Long hair domestic,
Age: 5-8 years
Why would my vet take blood out of the neck (jugler (?) vein)? In most cases I've encountered, a blood draw has been out of the leg.




Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there Betty...thanks so much for your question.

Believe it or not, the jugular vein is the recommended vein for taking blood from a cat. When we take blood from a leg we usually can only get a small blood volume. This is ok if we are doing a test that only needs a tiny amount of blood (such as a blood glucose level).

However, if we are doing a regular type of blood test we usually need 2-3 cc of blood. The only way to consistently do this is to take blood from the jugular vein.

Sometimes, this can look traumatic to a cat! Many cats do not like to stay still for blood collection. Often they can vocalize a lot to tell us they are not happy. And it is not uncommon to have some bruising at the site of the blood collection. It is challenging getting blood from a cat sometimes!

If you have more questions about how your cat was handled, let me know.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.