Dose large volumes with ease, with our tethered infusion systems for swine models.

Pig infusion systems require robust components that can stand up to the rigors of these tough, smart animals. We'll guide you through the options to create a system that works for you.

Tethered Infusion System for Pigs

Tethered infusion makes it easier to dose large volumes, and minimizes the risk of pump damage by separating the pump from the pig. It also provides easy pump access for changing syringes or pump settings. The basic pig tethered infusion configuration shown here covers a majority of protocols, but our team can help select the best catheter, catheter access, pumps and more based on:

  • Budget
  • Size of the cage/run
  • Volume & Flow Rate
  • Weight of the animal
  • Long Term or Short Term Study
  • Intermittent or Continuous Catheter Access

To learn more about all options, keep reading below. Or, reach out to our experienced staff for advice.

Build a Swine Tethered Infusion System

Your step-by-step guide to building a safe, tough infusion system for tethered pig studies.

Pumps

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Tethered infusion systems use a pump mounted outside of the cage so that the animal cannot reach it. This makes it easy to access the pump and make changes in the dosing solution or rate of administration. There are volume limits to syringe pumps, so for large animals and large volumes, a pump that uses medication bags might be best.

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  • SAI 3D- This pump was designed for infusion studies and has the most flexible, functional design. Best for GLP studies, including large scale infusion protocols. Optional management software and maintenance plans.
  • CADD 6500- These pumps can be used for both ambulatory and tethered studies. Since this pump uses medication cassettes instead of syringes, it's possible to dose volumes up to 1,000 ml.
  • Refurbished Baxter AS50- This infusion pump is a workhorse, and has much of the functionality of the SAI 3D pump. While the cost is lower, these units are only available refurbished, and they cannot be controlled with software.

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Need to increase capacity without adding to your capital budget? SAI offers a variety of pumps for rent.

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Using your pumps properly and keeping them in good working order are essential for successful studies. We offer pump repairs and calibration for a variety of pumps.

For GLP studies, data management is made easy with our software. The SAI 3D Programmable Pump works with Axios software. The 3D Mini and Micro BT pumps can be managed and controlled with proprietary software from SAI.

Jackets

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Pigs are strong, smart and sensitive. This makes finding the right jacket a little bit challenging. The focus for swine studies is to choose a comfortable design that minimizes rubbing, but is also strong enough to stand up to the rigors of these large, intelligent animals. .

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  • Lightweight, breathable mesh
  • Sizes from less than 10kg to 135+kg
  • Jackets can be color-coded for easier identification of research groups
  • Leg straps/loops can be added for extra security
  • Sizing for Yucatan, Yorkshire, Hanford and Gottingen models, from juvenile to large adult
  • The Tether End Plate is integrated directly into the jacket for the most secure connection

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  • Undershirts are made of breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, similar to athletic wear.
  • Softer fabric helps protect sensitive skin
  • The tighter fit can assist with holding catheter lines in place or feeding them externalization point to the tether connection
  • Can be customized with leg loops, catheter feeds, and color-coding

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  • Large Animal Swivels are available in high impact plastic or stainless steel.
  • Single, dual and triple channel configurations with16-20 gauge connections
  • Stainless Steel Tethers connect between the jacket and the swivel.
  • Available in three standard diameters with lengths from 2-5ft & custom options available

Catheter Placement

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For swine infusion studies, the most common implant site is the jugular vein. There are two common approaches used- one is a full cut down technique and one is a percutaneous access that doesn't tunnel the catheter. We offer the widest range of catheter options, and can customize the catheter to suit your needs.

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  • Biocompatible catheters are made from Silicone, but Polyurethane options are available
  • Standard sizes from 7-12 Fr. Custom options available, including options for juvenile models
  • Optional suture beads
  • Optional female luer attachment
  • Ideal for: longer term studies. The security of a fully implanted catheter makes it the best choice for studies lasting more than a few days

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  • Percutaneous catheters make surgical implant faster and easier
  • Catheters come with an introducer needle to aid with implant
  • Can be used for sampling or infusion
  • Customizable options include injection caps and suture wings
  • Ideal for: Short term infusion, up to one week. Also, is a great back-up for patency loss in an implanted catheter. Because this catheter is not tunneled, it is extremely important to secure it and keep the area clean

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We offer a range of standard and customizable catheters for pigs, including:

Externalization

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Pigs are well known for being needle-shy, and this means that externalization of the catheter is an important choice to make. A VAP is easier to keep clean, but requires access with a needle. A luer option can be less stressful for swine models, but needs to be well protected since pigs can be especially messy. Miniaturized Catheter Access Ports are also growing in popularity for large animals after being originally developed for rodents.

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VAPs or Vascular Access Ports are designed to protect the catheter during long-term studies.

  • The Port-A-Cath is the favorite VAP for pigs because it's easy to secure and easy to palpate, even through thick skin. But other options are available
  • A non-coring (Huber) needle is required to access the VAP without causing damage.
  • Consider protective dressing to keep the port site clear of debris
  • Ideal for: Long term studies with intermittent access, especially if there are several days between access. The VAP can only be used with a tunneled catheter. Pigs are very sensitive to needles- use an analgesic to help minimize distress, or consider an externalized catheter option

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Luer Injection Valves (LIV) can be connected to an externalized catheter for quick, clean, easy access.

  • Minimal added volume
  • Hubs are easy to swab for clean access
  • No special tools or needle sticks required
  • Ideal for: Shorter term studies. The catheter externalizes outside of the body and this makes it more vulnerable than a VAP. However, externalized catheters can be easier to use for repeated access studies, since they can be easily accessed with a standard syringe. Keep in mind that LIVs can be harder to keep clean and secure, especially for pigs who tend to have messy housing.

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Catheter Access Buttons™ are halfway between a VAP and an externalized catheter. The catheter connection sits beneath the skin, but the access port is externalized.  

  • 1, 2 and 3 port options available
  • SAI buttons incorporate CannuLock™ technology for the most secure catheter connection
  • Ingrowth cuff promotes fast healing with low incidence of seromas
  • Ideal for: Repeated access studies, or animals that are needle-shy. CABs can work for short or long term studies and for repeated or intermittent access. However, these buttons will have to be well protected to minimize damage.

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