Sometimes our pets, who are members of our family, suffer emergencies and require critically needed blood products to aid in their recovery. Our furry friends can have anemia (low red blood cell count) and clotting problems that require transfusions of red blood cells and/or plasma containing clotting factors. Without these blood products, lives would be lost.
UW Veterinary Care is prepared to provide our patients with emergency or routine blood transfusions via our on-site blood bank. This requires the aid of donors to fill the blood bank with the resources patients may need.
Dogs and cats should be good natured, healthy, and between one and six years old. All pets must successfully complete the free donor screening process. Cats must weight more than 10 pounds and dogs must weigh more than 50 pounds.
The blood bank will contact you a day or more prior to your pet’s donation. Your cat or dog will spend the day at UW Veterinary Care. Cats are heavily sedated for the donation, and dogs often lie quietly.
A unit of blood will be collected from the jugular vein then processed and stored for later use. Your pet is given fluids, treats, and lots of love!
Benefits for Donors
- Free food (Purina or Hill’s pet food)
- Free routine vaccinations
- Free heartworm testing and preventative**
- Free flea/tick preventatives**
- Free bloodwork, urinalysis, and fecal tests as covered in the screening process
- Free preventative health examinations
- Free dental scaling and polishing
- Pride in your pet for helping other pets
**For cats, Feline Advantage Multi. For dogs, K9 Advantix II and Heartguard Plus.
To remain eligible for benefits, cats must donate at least four times per year and dogs at least six times per year.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much blood is collected? Cats donate 53 mL and dogs donate 450 mL; this amount is relative based on body size to the amount that is taken from a person who is donating blood.
Can my pet become anemic? Anemia is very uncommon in our blood donors. To ensure that it is safe for our donors to have their blood collected, we check their red blood cell levels before every donation.
How often can my pet donate? Cats can donate every eight weeks at most. Dogs can donate every four weeks at most.