Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

I am so confused. So the other day I went to draw blood from Abby, my junior doe, to run her CAE test. I shaved the righg side of her neck and was trying to find the jugular but couldnt find it, so I gave up. I was just watching some blood drawing videos and they all showed them drawkng blood from the left side?? I thought it was the right side b/c on the bio tracking video they were drawing from the right side... What side is it?? Is it diffrent w/ each breed or goat? I cant wrap my brain around this.. Please help! Thank You!

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There is one on each side, so it shouldn't matter. I think most people draw from the goat's left side because they are right-handed, and it's just easier access. That's what I do. Perhaps you are expecting the vein to be much larger or smaller than it really is? In an adult ND it feels kind of like an average size plastic straw that you get in a drink. You say she is a junior doe -- how old is that exactly? If she is too small, even a pro would have trouble. I've only ever drawn blood from goats at least a year old. A buyer once insisted on getting a CAE test on a 6-week-old kid -- even though pathologists will tell you that it's a waste of money at that age -- and my vet said that she wouldn't even know what size needle to use on a kid that size! (I refused to put the kid through something that is pointless, so we didn't do it.) My only other thought is that if the doe is really overweight, the vein could be buried under fat? Drawing blood on your own is really not that easy to do if you don't have a person right there to teach you. I'm sure that little girl on the Biotracking video had someone personally show her how to do it -- maybe even a few times! And that probably wasn't the first time that she did it either, so don't feel bad! I've seen vet students at the university have such a hard time finding that vein that I was tempted to just ask to do it myself, but I know they have to learn.

She is going to be 8 months on the 24th of this month. I thought I found the vein but it didn't look like it was the right thing B/C I was expecting it to be a lot more visible than it was. I decided to give up B/C it was getting dark and she was getting stressed out. I came home and watched videos on it  and every video ( except the one on the Bio Tracking website ((which is not the one of the little girl)) it was of a adult lady drawing blood from a Boer), was doing it from the left side so I thought that maybe I was doing it on the wrong side. I am using a 22 gauge by 1 in. needle. Maybe I should have practiced on my Senior doe so I could find the vein easier. 

The reason I was trying to get some blood is B/C I am taking her to get bred and she needed to have a current CAE test, but after letting the lady know I was having trouble she is going to let me by w/ out having her tested. She has never been bred, exposed to a CAE + goat, and came from a disease free herd so I am not worried about it. But after she is bred I will want to get her tested. 

Oh, good, I'm glad you didn't see the video of the little girl drawing blood. That always makes people feel bad. :)

I just glanced at the BioTracking website, and they have great instructions on the goat section about drawing blood. In fact, this point is especially important:

5. The easiest way to locate the vein is to draw an imaginary line from the middle of the doe’s eye down the side of her neck. The vein can be located by applying pressure with the thumb or fingers in the groove on either side of the trachea and below the half-way point of the shaved area. The pressure will cause the vein to pop up and be easy to see.

If you don't put pressure on the vein, you will never find it. I made that mistake the first time I tried to do it by myself. If you haven't read their instructions, they're here: http://www.biotracking.com/?q=goats/biopryn/use

The 1-inch needle is definitely needed. I saw a pro trying to do it once with a 1/2-inch, and she couldn't do it. A 20 gauge is a little bigger so will go faster, but a 22 gauge will work.

If you haven't already done so, be sure to weigh your doe. I like them to be at least 40 pounds, but some people will breed after they're 35. I always think about that now because a year or two ago, someone brought over a tiny little doe for breeding, and I wouldn't do it, so she made a trip for nothing.

Thank You, I will try "drawing" that line. I weighed her today and she weighed 34 lbs so I am going to go ahead and breed her. I feel like complications could arise in any delivery and feel like she will do fine. I have a doe who is only 42 lbs and she is 4 years old and has kidded twice w/ no problem. Her name is Tiny Dancer :) 

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