Intraosseous injection

This site is used for the administration of fluids rather than medication. It cannot be done in the small rodents as they have very fine bones with a small medullary cavity and there is no needle safe enough for the procedure.

In some larger rats, chinchillas, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc., the best site is the proximal femur in the fossa between the hip joint and the greater trochanter. The area must be surgically prepared as the needle would track bacteria straight into the medullary cavity, resulting in severe osteomyelitis. A 20-21-gauge needle or a spinal needle is screwed into the bone. Apply antibiotic cream around the needle to prevent infection. Cap the needle and bandage in place. This procedure is very painful so requires heavy sedation or a general anaesthetic. The procedure should never be attempted if there is any sign of metabolic bone disease. A radiograph should be taken after the needle is placed to ensure that it is in the correct position.

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