Intravenous drug administration in adult swine is difficult to perform due to inaccessible superficial veins and thick subcutaneous fat layers. However, successful intravenous drug administration is critical for many biomedical applications including pharmacokinetic studies as extravascular drug administration can influence the drug’s absorption and elimination rate. The purpose of this study was to develop and refine an effective technique for indwelling auricular vein catheter placement in the conscious mature sow. We developed a protocol using a topical anesthetic cream and minimal physical restraint to place indwelling catheters in the auricular vein of six multiparous sows. This method was quick (3 min 20 s ± 8 s [mean ± SE per catheter]), effective (11/12 catheters successfully placed) and reliable, allowing a large drug volume (20–22 mL) to be administrated successfully during the trial without relying on prolonged restraint or general anesthesia of the sow.
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