Why do pets need blood transfusions?
Pets sometimes need transfusions when they experience traumatic injuries, ingest poisons (such as rodenticides), or develop life-threatening illnesses or diseases. Pets may need transfusions of whole blood, packed red blood cells, or plasma.
Are blood donations and transfusions safe?
Generally, blood donations and transfusions are safe. MVS takes every precaution to minimize risks associated with blood donations and transfusions. MVS veterinarians and technicians collect blood from donors using an aseptic technique, and monitor transfusion recipients closely to ensure prompt detection of transfusion-related reactions. With these precautions in place, blood transfusions are generally safe and often life-saving.
Can my dog donate blood?
MVS welcomes donations of blood from healthy dogs who meet the following requirements:
- Between 1-6 years old
- Over 50 pounds
- Universal Blood Donor (blood-typing performed by MVS at no cost to potential donors)
- Friendly disposition
- Current on vaccinations
- On year-round heartworm and flea/tick prevention
- Females must be spayed (and never pregnant)
- Never received blood transfusions
What are the benefits of donating blood?
In addition to the joy of helping to save other lives — MVS blood donors who donate at least 4 times per year receive:
- A 12-month supply of heartworm prevention
- A 12-month supply of flea/tick prevention
- Annual blood-work
- A 10% discount on professional services at MVS
- Complimentary physical exams prior to each donation
- Complimentary blood work prior to each donation
How much blood do donors give?
We collect about 450 mL of whole blood during each donation (15-16 ounces).
How often can my dog donate blood?
We ask our blood donors to donate every 2-3 months, and at least four times per year. Dogs can safely donate blood every 30 days, but as a precautionary measure we prefer to extend the time between donations.
Do I still need to see my family veterinarian for annual/biannual visits?
Yes! Exams and blood work provided as part of the blood donor program do not substitute for routine check-ups. We want our blood donors to maintain strong relationships with their family veterinarians and remain current all necessary vaccinations.