& Management / Disease
Investigation & Management / Techniques:
- Venepuncture in primates
- Intravenous injection in primates
- Femoral vein.
- Lie the primate in dorsal recumbency, legs slightly extended.
Use palpation with an index finger to locate the pulsation of the
femoral artery. The femoral vein is next to this.
- This is the main site for venepuncture in primates.
- This can be used in small species of primate, and for large
samples from larger species.
- Jugular vein.
- Particularly useful in small species.
- Tibial vein
- Useful in prosimians, guenons and larger primates.
- On the caudal surface of the gastrocnemius muscle, just under
the skin. If the upper thigh is compressed this is easy to detect.
- Quite small and easily collapses when blood is taken.
- Vein of choice for intravenous injections.
- Cephalic vein
- It may be possible to restrain smaller primates for venipuncture.
- Primates can be trained to present a limb for venipuncture using
positive reinforcement training.
- This may require modification of the cage to allow a limb to be
- Sedation is required if the primate is not trained and cannot be
safely physically restrained.
- Locate the vein.
- Disinfect the skin over the venipuncture site.
- Use a needle and (for blood sampling) a syringe or vacuum tube of
- Prosimians, marmosets, tamarins: 0.4 mm needle, 1 mL syringe
(25-26 gauge needle, 1 mL syringe (B671.13B.w13b))
- Saimiri sp. squirrel monkeys etc: 0.9 mm needle (20 gauge
0.5 inch) (B671.13B.w13b),
1-2.5 mL syringe or small vacuum tube.
- Larger species: 1.2 - 2.0 mm needle, 2.5 - 10 mL vacuum tube.
- If taking blood, no more than 1 mL per 100 g body weight per month.
- If intravenous catheterisation is difficult due to low blood
pressure, a sterile cut-down onto the vein is recommended. (D425.3.14.w3n,
- Withdraw the needle and place pressure over the vein for at
least one minute to avoid haematoma formation.
|Appropriate Use (?)
- For intravenous administration of drugs and fluids.
- For collection of venous blood samples.
|Complications/ Limitations / Risk
- A large Vacutainer tube risks collapsing the vain, particularly in
- A haematoma may form following venipuncture unless adequate pressure
is applied to the venipuncture site after the needle has been withdrawn.
|Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
|Expertise level / Ease of Use
- This procedure should only be carried out by an individual with
appropriate clinical training and practical experience.
- Not expensive unless expensive drugs are being administered.
- Cost will be increased if anaesthesia is required.
|Legal and Ethical Considerations
||In some countries there may be
legislation restricting the use of this type of technique to licensed veterinarians. For
example in the UK: "The Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Section 19) provides,
subject to a number of exceptions, that only registered members of the Royal College of
Veterinary Surgeons may practice veterinary surgery." (See:
- RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Treatment of
Animals by Non-Veterinary Surgeons).
Use of Drugs
- Many drugs are not registered for use in ferrets and care should
be taken in their use, with proper regard for possible toxic effects. Consideration should
be give to relevant legislation regarding the use of drugs.
- In any country, drugs are unlikely to be specifically licensed for use
in non-domestic mammals.
- In Europe the prescription cascade must be followed, and the
client's informed consent should be obtained, whenever a drug is
used which is not licensed for use in a given species. (B284.5.w5)
- In the UK, guidelines regarding the use of drugs are set out in the Royal College
of Veterinary Surgeons Guide to Professional Conduct 2000: (see:
- RCVS Guide to Professional Conduct 2000 - Choice of Medicinal Products).
||Dr Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS