Lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection and subsequent analysis are particularly useful with respect to confirming the presence of an inflammatory lesion involving the leptomeninges, such as bacterial meningo-encephalitis, and investigating potential compressive lesions of the spinal cord. When correctly performed under local anaesthesia, lumbar CSF collection in sheep is a safe procedure. Familiarity with the technique aids high extradural injection of lidocaine and/or xylazine which has many applications in sheep clinical practice. There are no indications for cisternal CSF collection. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.