[rat-forum] Re: Precious blood ...

Geoffrey Butcher geoff.butcher at bbsrc.ac.uk
Tue May 18 17:51:05 CDT 1999

I agree with the suggestion concerning bleeding from tail veins.  There is an 

excellent modification, which I think came from the Dorsch and Roser laboratory. 

First, you keep the rat anaesthetised and warm; second you place a light weight 

(eg a metal rod) across the base of the tail to prevent venous return; thirdly, 

you use the broken-off shaft of a 21 or 22 gauge needle, slip that into the tail 

vein: it is then very easy and convenient to collect the blood from the other 

end of the shaft into an Eppendorf tube.

Alternatively there is now strong support for the use of saphenous vein bleeding 

(see Hem et al. Laboratory Animals 32: 364-368 [1998]).  This is particularly 

promoted as a replacement for retroorbital bleeding in mice, which is not now 

favoured in some establishments.

Geoff Butcher

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