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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18150
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Ive got to do a blood glucose test with an alphatraker on

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I've got to do a blood glucose test with an alphatraker on my dog's ear. I've tried several times but I can't get any blood to come out. I've warmed the ear and squeezed it as hard as I could but still no blob to test. Any suggestions?


She is 9 yrshas been recently diagnosed with diabetes and has had 2 sets of curves done at the vets. They want us to do the next set as she gets very stressed out so results are not as reliable as they would like. They've said only use her ear but we just can't get the blood to flow.

Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that you are having trouble getting blood from your pup's ear to get blood glucose levels.


The vessel that you want to get blood from is the marginal ear vein, which runs all the way around the outer part of the ear on the outside of the ear flap.

Here are some pictures to look at that show the vessel:

If you are having trouble finding it I recommend shaving the hair off the outside of her ear. Then warm the ear with a moistened, warmed, wash cloth for several minutes, apply alcohol so you can see the vessel even better and then prick the ear. There's no need to apply alcohol if you can see the vessel but many people find it easier to see if they do. Make sure that you are fully penetrating the skin.


Best of luck, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Dr. Kara and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The vet shaved part of her ear for us but we still can't see any veins. They did say her ears were very thick. It doesn't help that she starts thrashing around when trying to squeeze to get enough blood. We have been able to get it from her leg callous with no problems at it - she didn't even flinch. Is it ok to continue with this site or should we keep trying with the ear?

I'm sorry I was offline and missed your earlier reply.

I would not recommend using it from her leg callus as that blood is likely to be contaminated and not give you an accurate sample.

I would recommend shaving more of her ear so you can see a bit better, sometimes the vein will be more prominent in one part of the ear then another.


It may help to have one person hold her and give her a nice belly rub while the other is fiddling with her ear so she's getting some positive reinforcement and distraction and hopefully will be a little more cooperative.