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Vet difficulty drawing blood and giving vaccine?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
After reading the "What to look for in a vet" thread, I'm reminded of several things my cats' vet did...that made me nervous. I want to know if these sort of things happen occasionally, even with a good vet.

When drawing blood from the one cat's hind leg, something happened with that vein so that the vet could not take blood from that leg and had to use the other leg. The vet said the vein "exploded" . I don't know what that meant. She didn't seem very concerned, and it wasn't as though the cat was bleeding a lot...he was fine, and she took blood successfully from the other leg.

On a previous visit, when the vet went to administer a vaccine to a different cat (I believe also in the hind leg), I think the syringe went under the skin and then back out so that the vaccine squirted onto the cat's fur. The vet said this happens occasionally, and she had to redo the shot.

Perhaps a vet or vet tech here can tell me if these things do happen every so often?

Let me add that my vet is a very nice person who was highly recommended by a cat-loving family member. I don't intend to just ditch her without very good reason.
post #2 of 9
A human doctor exploded a vein in my hand trying to give me an IV.

:O I think these are silly mistakes that any human can make. But it was a painful mistake and I screamed at her. I'm sure if your cat could have, he would have hollered at his vet.
post #3 of 9
I'm wondering the same thing, to be honest. My Chihuahua got poked and had her veins exploded no less than 8 times during a blood draw one month ago. The problem was, she kept jerking and flailing around when the needle went into her skin and the veins kept exploding. I've had people tell me to find a new vet that knows how to take blood the first time around. Mind you, she was also restrained by a vet tech, but they said since she is so small, it's hard to grasp onto her and restrain her properly.

If you want to see what my dog looked like the next day, click these:
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3


She, too, is an excellent vet otherwise and up until this last time, my dog has stayed perfectly still for every single test. This hasn't happened before. I don't know what got into her this time.

So yes, I'm still wondering if this is common as well.
post #4 of 9
That has happened to me when donating blood - and I do every six weeks and tend to get the same techs (excellent ladies, BTW). Sometimes it just happens, I think. I have 'roll-y' veins so I always get the really experienced phlebotomists, and still I end up with a bruise about 25% of the time.

I once took a friend to the Northwestern Memorial ER in Chicago - took the nurse three separate tries to get a vein...I was getting ready to suggest finding a pediatric phlebotomist or nurse, as I understand they're the most experienced at teeny weeny veins in "uncooperative" patients.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the answers, I'm much less apprehensive now. I never heard of veins exploding before, and I'm glad to know it's somewhat normal. But yikes! that has to hurt! (Although, not ten minutes after getting his veins exploded and blood drawn, the cat in question was rubbing on the vet's legs begging for attention )
post #6 of 9
As for the vaccine going through the skin, I've had that happen with my cats before. All of mine have been medium to long haired cats, so it's happened that the vet thought the needle was in and it wasn't and that the angle wasn't quite right and the needle went all the way through. It wasn't a big deal, and the vet just readministered the vaccine, ensuring that it went in the second time.
post #7 of 9
As a vet tech I can tell you those two things happen pretty often.

When she said the vein "exploded" it means the needle punctured both sides of the vein, thus "blowing" it. This is insanely common when drawing blood from felines, especially if the cat is very young (tiny tiny veins) or older (veins collapse easily). I draw blood on probably around 8-10 cats a day and at least 3 of those blow. It's definitely not a sign of an incompetent vet. Try getting a needle the size of a straight pin into a vein the size of a pencil lead, . Very little room for error.

As far as the vaccines/injections, that's not quite as easy to do. That happens to me on kittens pretty frequently, but not on adult cats. But still, not necessarily the sign of a bad vet.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
As a vet tech I can tell you those two things happen pretty often.

When she said the vein "exploded" it means the needle punctured both sides of the vein, thus "blowing" it. This is insanely common when drawing blood from felines, especially if the cat is very young (tiny tiny veins) or older (veins collapse easily). I draw blood on probably around 8-10 cats a day and at least 3 of those blow. It's definitely not a sign of an incompetent vet. Try getting a needle the size of a straight pin into a vein the size of a pencil lead, . Very little room for error.

As far as the vaccines/injections, that's not quite as easy to do. That happens to me on kittens pretty frequently, but not on adult cats. But still, not necessarily the sign of a bad vet.
I agree with this. At the clinic I work at our vets rarely even draw blood, our techs do it and if the vet does draw blood they often times have a harder time doing it because they don't do it on a regular basis. Drawing blood is not an easy task, especially if the patient is not cooperating, or if the patient has crap for veins.

As far as vaccinating through the skin, it happens. It isn't something that should happen all the time, but it happens.
post #9 of 9
When taking blood out of the hind leg, it's easier to blow the vein because it's smaller and their hind legs are bent. Try putting a straight needle into a tiny, tiny vein like that. Some cats also have tough skin so the vet ends up blowing it as well. And if the cat is wiggly, then it's even harder to get that vein.

As for the vaccines, that happens occasionally especially if the cat is wiggly.

Like CatNurse said, these are not signs of an incompetent vet though. Sometimes, the cat is so afraid or angry that half the battle is the vet tech or assistant holding the cat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatNurse22 View Post
As a vet tech I can tell you those two things happen pretty often.

When she said the vein "exploded" it means the needle punctured both sides of the vein, thus "blowing" it. This is insanely common when drawing blood from felines, especially if the cat is very young (tiny tiny veins) or older (veins collapse easily). I draw blood on probably around 8-10 cats a day and at least 3 of those blow. It's definitely not a sign of an incompetent vet. Try getting a needle the size of a straight pin into a vein the size of a pencil lead, . Very little room for error.

As far as the vaccines/injections, that's not quite as easy to do. That happens to me on kittens pretty frequently, but not on adult cats. But still, not necessarily the sign of a bad vet.
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