In this VETgirl veterinary continuing education video blog, we demonstrate how to use a Huber needle on a PleuroPort in a dog. PleuralPorts are subcutaneous vascular access ports that are occasionally surgically placed by a veterinary specialist. There are only two sizes of the PleuralPort available (cat and dog size). PleuralPorts are used to gain repeated access to a patient’s pleural cavity (typically for removal of chronic pleural effusion). They are considered an alternative to a thoracostomy tube, and have a fenestrated silicone drain placed in the thoracic cavity and connected and secured in place in the subcutaneous tissue. The silicone port septum is easily palpated through the skin, and fluid can be aspirated from the pleural space by inserting a sterile non-coring “Huber point” needle into the port septum using aseptic technique. The port site should be clipped, cleaned and prepared aseptically. Sterile gloves should be used to stabilize and hold the port in the non-dominant hand. A Huber needle is aseptically attached to a collection system and inserted until you feel the needle tip hit the metal based plate of the port. Once the needle is inserted, careful suction to remove the pleural effusion can occur. Once the pleural space is evacuated, the the catheter should be injected with a locking solution (which varies with each hospital’s protocol), and the needle carefully removed and disposed of.

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