Difficulty consistently getting good drop of blood

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by Stewie man, Feb 17, 2018.

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  1. Stewie man

    Stewie man New Member

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    Feb 7, 2018
    Hi all. I have been having trouble getting a consistent good drop of blood when I test. Stewie is not super cooperative and if it takes too long he gets crabby (growling and trying to bite). I am trying to do a curve per my vet and not having much luck so far today. I feel like I am failing my kitty.
     
  2. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    Hi. Have you tried warming the ear a little before pricking it? It really helps. Some people do it with a sock filled with rice that they microwave. I get the corner of a washcloth wet with very warm water (wring it out as much as possible) and hold that on Mia's ear a few seconds. Then, I hold it on there again a few seconds after and wipe any remaining blood. What gauge are your lancets? 28g is usually best for this purpose.

    Do you give me a special treat when you test?
     
    Noah & me (GA) likes this.
  3. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    You are not failing your kitty, it's almost a miracle they even let us do these things to them. I can only poke Noah's left ear and it looks like Hell but the heat helps as does rubbing his ear beforehand. We have a long drawn out drama where I lay everything out in front of him so there's no surprises. And once a month he gets a little snippy so I kind of scruff him and do the "Who's the boss" thing which is more unpleasant for me than him. After all these years and two cats I still go right through the ear, get the blood that way if you have to and apologize later. I also went to a lower gauge even though they look like a carpenters nail. It's easier to just poke once than 5 or 6 times with a 33 gauge and not get a micron of blood.
     
  4. Stewie man

    Stewie man New Member

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    Feb 7, 2018
    Thanks for the encouragement. I am using the alpha track monitor and using the Lancets that came with the kit. I could not find what gauge they are. I do warm up his ears. I usually give him a bit of his canned food after and do lots of loving. If I could just get the good drop on the first stick he would not get so irritated. He is a very strong willed cat and once he is done with it and upset there is no trying again. I find that if the poke is not good than the blood gets lost in his hair
     
  5. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 2, 2014
    I also use the AT2 meter and lancets. The lancets are 33 gauge,,,correction 28 gauge which gives a good drop for me. I just rub the ear slightly in a petting motion before poking. Also for myself I find it easier to to the poke free-hand without using the device. My girlie likes to lay in her bed by the heat register in the winter so that really helps with keeping the ears warm.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  6. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    AlphaTrak lancets are 28 gauge.
     
  7. krazy4kritters

    krazy4kritters Member

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    Jan 18, 2018
    The lancets that came with the meter are probably 30-31 gauge. I use a 26 gauge. The smaller the gauge number the bigger it is. i.e. 31 is very small: small hole prick, tiny blood drop.
    Every time I test, I lay everything out on a napkin so I can keep track of everything. My cat likes to hangout on a dark stairwell so I also have to use a headlamp so I can see! Lol I always start with some baby talk and rub his ears to the blood flowing. I also always spread a thin layer of neosporin on his ear. This helps the blood bead up instead of dissipating into the fur. I hold a cotton ball on the inside of his ear so there is something firm to press the lancet against. Have the lancet on a 45 degrees angle. If you look closely you will see the lancet has a angle on the tip. Angle up. Hope some of these tips help.
    ~Nicole
     
  8. FurBabiesMama

    FurBabiesMama Well-Known Member

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    Jul 6, 2017
    The AlphaTrak comes with 28 gauge lancets.
     
  9. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Other things:
    some people use Vaseline to make the blood bead on the ear.
    I've used a tiny flashlight to backlight an ear.
    These are the BD lancets I use, they can be hard to find. I free-hand and because these are huge they're easier to hold in your hand. The boxes are color coded, come in every size from 28 to 33

    ear_001.JPG bd_lance01.jpg bd_lance02.JPG
     
  10. Tuxedo Mom

    Tuxedo Mom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 2, 2014

    Sorry you are correct they are 28 gauge...my eyes aren't so good right now...having cataract surgery in 10 days...the sooner the better :confused:
     
  11. StephG

    StephG Well-Known Member

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    Sep 8, 2016
    I use the lancet device... I have slight hand tremors and couldn't imagine the blood bath I would cause freehanding it.
    But if you use the device, I have noticed most devices have a circle where the lancet pokes out. I rub Chuck's ears to get the blood flowing. Then I put the device on the ear and put a bit of pressure on it for a second. Then click. It seems to catch the blood in that little area and he bleeds easily. ECID and maybe I'm imagining it but I don't have to poke more than once. His ear has learned to bleed after almost a year and a half and obsessive testing in the beginning...
    It also helps that he's very laid back for testing unless he sees his treat first.
    Edited to fix the typos.
     
    krazy4kritters likes this.
  12. Stewie man

    Stewie man New Member

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    Feb 7, 2018
    Thank you to everyone. I now have some good tips and will try again tomorrow to get some numbers. I think it will be best to let him settle down the rest of today. He is a loving, but challenging kitty at times. His mother was a feral cat and he was abandoned before his eyes were fully opened. That is most likely why he is so strong willed and hard to handle at times.
     
    krazy4kritters likes this.
  13. VaxGirl

    VaxGirl New Member

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    Feb 16, 2018
    I don't think anyone mentioned it yet, but are you putting a bit of vaseline on his ear before you poke? It really helps the blood bead up and not get absorbed by the fur. It was a big turning point for us when we realized this.
     
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  14. Martha and Lolly

    Martha and Lolly Member

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    Jan 4, 2015
    I was trying to poke from the front- furry side, until someone here pointed out the furry side's skin is tougher. You may do better (if you are not already doing it) trying to get the blood from the inside of the ear. I also use a small sock filled with (uncooked) rice which I warm up for 15 seconds in the microwave. Your microwave might be different, so test it out. The rice bags can feel cooler than they really are. After taking the bag out of the microwave, mush it around so you can feel how hot it really is. Be careful not to burn Stewie, sometimes I have to let the rice bag cool a little.

    I also use a special treat. I buy bonito flakes from the asian food section of my grocery store- they are Japanese. Most cats love them, they are pure fish protein. I put a flat plate with them in front of Lolly, let her eat them for a bit, then prick her. It takes cats a while to eat the flakes, not like a quick treat that they scarf fight away, so it's a good distraction. She's so focussed on getting the rest of the bonito, that she sometimes dosen't know I pricked her. After I get the blood, I let her go to town on the rest of the Bonito flakes.
     
    Kris & Teasel and krazy4kritters like this.
  15. Phoebes

    Phoebes Well-Known Member

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    Jan 16, 2017
    Once it bleeds if you can get the blood on the tip of your nail you can get it that way as well. Then he's not waiting as long.
     
    Stewie man likes this.
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