Thursday, June 23, 2016

Can My Dog Donate Blood?

Do you know your dog’s type? No, I’m not starting a new dog dating service. I’m talking about your dog’s blood type. There are five different types of canine blood with one being a “universal” type much like the human ‘O’ negative. Does it make a difference what type of blood flows through your pet’s veins? If they ever need a blood transfusion, it might.
Each day hundreds of dogs need blood transfusions due to injuries received from car accidents, loss of blood during surgeries, and many life-saving emergency treatments. Many clinics don’t use blood often so they don’t stock it. When those veterinarians need blood, they depend on regional or national blood banks. The problem is there are not very many national animal blood banks.  
Can My Dog Be A Donor?
What kind of dog can become a donor? Some qualifications must be met before a dog is accepted. The laws do vary from state-to-state so check with your veterinarian. The following are general rules for most states:
·        Healthy and free of any infectious disease
·        Between the ages of 1 – 7 years
·        Weigh more than 50 pounds
·        Current on vaccines
·        No medications other than a heartworm preventative and flea & tick preventative
·        Parasite free
 The process of your dog donating blood is not that different from the human experience. In most cases, it takes about thirty to forty-five minutes and requires no anesthesia. The dog will have a small patch of hair shaved before the procedure begins. The blood is drawn from the jugular vein in the neck or the front foreleg.  Humans are given cookies and juice, while dogs are coddled and fed treats as they donate. Sometimes they may receive fluids afterward to avoid becoming weak or having a drop in blood pressure. This is not usually a problem. In fact, most dogs have no trouble donating blood every five to seven weeks. If you’d like your dog to become a regular donor, plan on scheduling donations for every three months.
Some veterinary clinics will house or foster adoptable dogs for a limited time to use as donors. In California, the law states that all commercial blood banks must keep their donors in-house. They nurture and care for them while they serve as donors for a limited time. After they have donated their limited time, they are adopted out to forever homes.
     If your dog ever needs a blood transfusion, they are not cheap. Costs can vary from $150 to $300 per unit with whole blood costing up to $500. Most veterinarians don’t compensate for dog’s donations but will sometimes offer incentives. You might receive a discount on a future bill, free blood work, or gift certificates for dog supplies. That is a conversation for you to have with your pet’s doctor.

   Why should you check to see if your dog is a good donor candidate? That is a great question and here is my answer; donating blood saves lives. If your dog ever needed a transfusion, you’ll be forever grateful to the dog that donated. What a great feeling it would be to know you and your best friend saved another dog’s life!  Sources:
The Humane Society


  1. What an interesting post, this had never crossed my mind before but us furfriends haf operations and thingys just the same as the hoomans so of course bloods is needed. Finks I'll do a bit of research and chat to our VETman
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  2. We agree with Princess Leah...we have never thought about the fact that dogs need blood too. We wouldn't be able to donate though...since we don't weigh fifty pounds and we are over the age of 7. This is very good information though and we will pass it on! Thanks!

  3. I did it once some weeks before I had surgery, so the dogtor can use it in case of problems... we would like to help our furfriends that way and we will ask our vet what we can do and what clinic in our area needs our help...

  4. We were all set to go and donate two years ago, but then found out about the 50+ pound thing and that was that. Too bad we can't donate at the weight we are!

  5. WE would not be allowed to donate due to our weight... butt we have met a Donor... he was one of our OHIO Vet's Dogs... and at that clinic they also had a Donor CAT...

  6. There is a retired veterinarian who lives near our town and raises GSDs to be blood donors. The dogs get the best of everything and he does a service for every dog owner. He has to do it secretly because animal rights people would protest in obnoxious ways

  7. Huh - did not know about the 50lb limit. That rules Rita out, darn it.

  8. It would be great to know there is blood on hand if we needed it. We would not be able to donate due to the weight restriction :-(
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  9. SHE is a blood donor, but so far, we dogs haven't donated.

  10. When our Benny had cancer, he had two emergency transfusions from donated blood
    Lily & Edward

  11. We weren't aware of this until a couple years ago but sadly Sam was too old to donate by them. Such a terrific idea! We'll definitely keep it in mind when we get another pup.

  12. We never thought about this before, thanks for bringing it to our attention!

    Your Pals Who Are Trying To Catch Up,

    Murphy & Stanley & The Laundry Queen

  13. Great post!!! We have a dog blood donor program at our emergency clinic.

  14. We didn´t know dogs could be a blood donor.

  15. We are so thankful for all the canine donors. Thunder needed blood once and thankfully he was being treated at the blood bank for our area so it was available for him.


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