Chris and Keri’s Blog

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Playing Doctor on the Farm

by chris - January 1st, 2010.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

First off, Happy New Year everyone!

Today Keri and I decided to teach ourselves to draw blood from the goats. We’ve had the necessary supplies on hand for a couple months, but have been procrastinating since the task seemed a little daunting. But, we’re making arrangements to have the goats bred in January, and we need to send some blood samples off for testing before breeding them, so the time has come.

The task sounds pretty simple when you read tutorials online. We even read one web page with pictures of a 7-year-old girl drawing blood. The basic procedure is to have one person hold the goat still, and the other puncture the jugular vein with a needle & syringe and draw a few CCs of blood, and then deposit the blood into a vacuum sample tube to be sent away.

Yet as we found ourselves in the barn with a stubborn goat and a syringe at the ready, it didn’t seem quite so simple. Eventually we found a position that worked to hold the goat still, me holding the goat and Keri drawing the blood. On the first two goats, Peanut and Cocoa, Keri was successful on the first poke. The last goat, Nilla, proved (as usual) to be more difficult. Her vein was huge and easy to see, but must have been very slippery or something; it took about 10 tries to get the blood. We gave the poor girl an extra treat of grain afterward.

As you can imagine we couldn’t really get any photos of the process. But since I know everyone likes to see photos, I took a picture of the samples for you. Here is the result of all our efforts, I hope it doesn’t gross anyone out. Tomorrow morning we’ll be sending them overnight to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and Washington State University. Hopefully the results will come back clean. If not, we’ll just have to take extra precautions to avoid the goat’s kids getting infected.

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