How to Place a Catheter


The following video is a good reference for how to place an IV catheter in a dog.


The following equipment should be available for the procedure:
  • Hair clippers
  • Cleaning solutions (chlorhexidine, povidone-iodine, or alcohol)
  • Appropriate sized catheter needles (24 for small dogs up to 18 for large dogs)
  • T-set adaptor or injection cap
  • Syringe with heparin flush
  • Tape and vet-wrap
Make sure to prepare your area and equipment before retrieving the animal.


The typical steps are:
  1. Use clippers to remove the hair from the the arm or leg at the location of the target placement
  2. Locate the vein
  3. Disinfect the area
  4. Insert the catheter
  5. Troubleshoot catheter placement if necessary
  6. Check final placement for signs of failure (swelling, bleeding, etc)
  7. Place an adapter or line
  8. Confirm flow
  9. Tape and secure