Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Canine Blood Donors

Photo: Albert Lozano

With the improved technology out on the market, pet blood banks are on the rise. Surgeries are more common than ever and having extra blood on hand can make all the difference.

Blood Banks

Now, dogs are donating blood in order to give other dogs an improved quality of life. Most dog blood donation programs have strict requirements so that the donor is kept in the best condition for donating.

Some of the requirements include:
  • Dogs should be between 1 to 8 years old.
  • Dogs must weigh around 50 pounds but, the weight will vary with blood banks.
  • Blood is drawn from the jugular vein in the neck.
  • Dogs should be between 1 to 8 years old.
  • They must be able to lay still for 10 minutes.
  • They must be current with their vaccinations.

Dogs are fed after the procedure and recover much more quickly than humans. They don't feel faint or dizzy. If the donor is a cat, they must be sedated before donating.

It's ideal if your dog has the universal blood type which is known as DEA 1.1. Dog breeds known for having this blood type are Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers. About 450mL of blood is collected during the donation.

Pet Blood Donation Websites

Pet Aid in Burlington New Jersey
Banner's Blood Bank (Oregon)
Blue Ridge Eastern Veterinary Blood Bank Virginia
Critical Care Vets in Washington State
Washington State University
Animal Blood Register, Hertfordshire, UK
Iowa Veterinary Specialties, Des Moines, IA
Pet Blood Bank United Kingdom
Hemo Solutions, Colorado Springs, CO
Animal Blood Banks in California
HemoPet, Garden Grove, California
Oakland Veterinary Services, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Dove Lewis, Portland, Oregon
Chicago Veterinary Emergency, Chicago, IL
Palm Beach Veterinary Specialists, Florida

These are just a fraction of the pet blood banks that are now everywhere. The Association of Veterinary Hematology and Transfusion Medicine is also a good resource to find blood banks.

Let's Discuss!

Has your dog been a blood donor or ever needed a blood transfusion?

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  1. Have any ethical debates ever arisen from this? In other words, with humans, we understand the sacrifice we're making when we give blood. Dogs and cats can't understand this. Granted nor do they understand a trip to the vet for their own immediate good...but I just wonder about the idea of making this sacrifice for another dog or cat...

    Great idea though, in my opinion... :)

  2. None that I have heard. I do know that they will not draw blood from an animal that is nervous or uncomfortable. The effects are not the same as for humans, and the utmost care is given after the procedure.

  3. how long will the donor blood last when frozen? will one donation last for x amount of months until another donation is needed?

  4. Dogs can donate as much as every three weeks. Most donate though once ever two months. Since the use of blood is very much in demand, I believe it goes really quick. Red blood cells can last up to six weeks. Platelets can last about 5 days. So, it's important for dogs to donate frequently.



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