5 Ideal Spots to Prick Pets for Blood Glucose Testing
Where’s the Best Spot to Prick?
Once your pet gets diagnosed with diabetes, your veterinarian will show you how and when to check their blood sugar at home. This will make treatment easier and more effective since you’ll be able to closely monitor your pet’s glucose levels and report changes to your veterinarian right away.
However, when it comes to drawing blood from animals, the goal is to find a spot to collect samples without causing much harm or discomfort. To do this, it’s important to take the animal’s size, personality, and current condition into consideration. With that said, below are the 5 most ideal spots to prick pets for blood glucose testing and for which pets each one is most suited for.
For pets that don’t mind having their feet handled, the paw pads make excellent pricking points. One little poke often draws enough blood to get an accurate reading in one trial. However, avoid the main paw pads—the ones that come into contact with the ground when your pet walks—because it usually causes them a lot of pain. Instead, draw blood from the pisiform paw pad, which is the tiny “jellybean-looking” protrusion located slightly above the main paw pads.
To prick your pet’s pisiform paw pad, let someone help you hold them up in a standing position while you take one of their paws and flip it towards you. Avoid doing this with your pet lying down to prevent needle-related accidents if ever your furry friend makes sudden movements.
For cats, blood samples for glucose testing are usually drawn from the outer lining of the ears. Many cats seem to tolerate it, and it rarely causes severe bleeding, bruising or scarring.
Additionally, while it’s not necessarily an ideal pricking spot for most dogs, it’s a great one for floppy-eared dog breeds, like cocker spaniels, beagles, basset hounds, and bloodhounds. However, when drawing blood from your pet’s ears, remember to be very careful not to hit a vein since that could lead to excessive bleeding or bruising.
While the ears are considered the most ideal pricking spot for cats, for dogs it’s the elbows—the elbow callus, to be specific. Most dogs tolerate it really well since it’s a less sensitive area, and veterinarians recommend it because it generally provides excellent blood samples.
The elbow callus is the perfect place to draw blood from pets that don’t like having their feet or ears touched, as well as those that have figured out what it means when the weird human glucose device is out. You can have someone help you keep your furry friend calm, and while keeping the needle or lancet away from view, casually pinch their elbow callus and prick.
The inner lip is probably the least vet-recommended spot for drawing blood from pets. It can be very dangerous and one mistake could lead to an emergency vet visit.
However, for extremely gentle dogs or dog breeds that have large lip folds, such as St. Bernards, hounds, and schnauzers, it does yield great blood samples. If you’re unsure of whether or not you’ll be able to successfully (and safely) draw blood from your pet’s inner lip, though, it’s best to find a different spot.
The Base of the Tail
Another great pricking spot for dogs, especially ones that are obese and don’t like being handled, is the base of the tail. Not only does it generally yield excellent and consistent blood samples but it’s also well-tolerated by pets since it doesn’t cause much pain or discomfort. All you need to do is shave a little bit of your dog’s fur at the tail base area and carefully prick.