Canine & Feline Blood Bank with Our Canine Blood Donor Program
Canine and feline blood transfusions improve a pet’s chance of surviving serious trauma, surgery, or illness. At Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center, we maintain our own blood bank for an immediate supply to meet any medical need. In addition, we provide other local veterinarians with canine blood products when they have patients in need.
About Our Blood Bank
Our blood bank is managed by one of our veterinarians for patient safety and compliance with our high standards. All donors are screened for overall health and freedom from communicable diseases.
The blood is separated into different components, allowing several patients to receive blood products from only one donation. We maintain a supply of fresh blood on a limited basis; packed red cells, fresh plasma, and fresh frozen plasma for our canine patients; and only fresh whole blood for our feline patients.
How It Works
Each blood donation is collected in a special bag, the same type used by human blood banks. These bags preserve clotting factors and allow for sterile separation of blood components in a closed system.
Laboratory tests for blood typing are run for all new donors. A comprehensive battery of tests is completed on every new donor. There is also periodic testing for blood-borne diseases and parasites while the donor remains active in our program.
Where Donors Come From
Our canine donors are our clients’ pets who donate blood on a voluntarily basis. Our feline donors are pets of OPVMC employees. All of our blood donors reside with their families.
Our canine donors are selected for their sweet nature. Some animals seem to sense they are part of something special and are very cooperative. An animal that is not willing to sit still or who seems fearful or apprehensive is telling us, “I’d rather not donate today.” We respect the animal’s choice. Those who would rather not donate are thanked for their efforts. No dog is ever forced to donate.
We are always seeking canine blood donors of sound health and gentle nature for our program. Prospective donors must be:
- Between one and six years of age
- Fifty pounds or greater in body weight
- Current on vaccinations and heartworm preventive
- No other long-term medications
The donation process can be completed in less than 30 minutes and is typically performed without sedation. All blood collection supplies are sterile so there is no risk of acquiring infectious diseases by donating blood. Blood may be safely donated once a month.
For giving the gift of blood, our donors receive a complimentary annual physical examination, complete blood count and blood typing, heartworm test, chemistry profile, and a screening for several infectious diseases for each donation. Additionally, donor dogs are eligible to receive one blood product unit at no cost for each donation they have made.
For your dog to be considered as a blood donor, contact Marcy Hilliard, LVT.