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Blood films for microscopic examination should be thin. It is
best to collect the blood from the tip of the ear in the case
of a living animal or of an animal suspected to have died of
anthrax. The procedure is as follows:

1.        Clip the hair from the tip of the ear, if necessary.

2.        Wipe away hair and dirt from the clipped area with a
little dry cotton wool. Swab with methylated spirit and let it

3.        In a living animal, make a puncture at the tip of the
ear with a pin that has been sterilised by flaming, while in a
dead animal snip out a little piece of the skin at the tip and
allow the blood to ooze from the wound.

4.        Bring the surface of a slide in contact with the blood
droplet or transfer the droplet to this slide by means of the
edge of another slide. In either case, the blood should be
deposited at a point on the slide about 1 cm from one end,
while the quantity of blood removed from the wound should
be just sufficient to spread within the middle half of the
slide, leaving the ends blank.

5. Take another clean slide with a straight smooth edge at
one of its ends for use as a 'spreader'. Place this edge just
in front of the drop, holding the slide firmly, at an angle of
about 45° on the lower slide, which may be placed on a
table or some other flat surface. Now bring the lower end
of the spreader slide in contact with the drop of blood,
which will spread along the end of the slide by capillary
attraction. Glide forward the upper slide evenly at a
uniform pace so as to spread the droplet in a thin uniform
film on the surface of the lower slide (See diagram). From
animals suspected to have died of anthrax thick smears
should be prepared, and it may be better to make two thin
and two thick smears in each case for transmission to the
laboratory. While making films, the slides should be
protected from the direct sun rays, especially in summer
months, to avoid rapid drying of the blood and the
consequent formation of arte-facts.

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