Letting your dog or cat donate blood is a very generous gesture... since many injured or seriously ill animals need these donations to survive or to improve their quality of life.
Did you know that unfortunately, blood shortages also occur for animals?
An increase of the animal population in recent years and the lack of animal blood donation awareness are responsible for this situation.
Do animals have blood types?
Yes! Just like humans, dogs and cats have different blood types. Thus, it is necessary to have several types of blood donors to make sure that compatible blood is used for each transfusion.
How can my dog’s blood donation save up to 5 lives?
Just like in human medicine, our team can separate the different blood components using an on-site centrifuge to :
- Perform transfusions of whole blood, platelets, red blood cells, or plasma
- Produce ophthalmic serum to cure various eye problems in dogs, but also in cats
Why is my cat’s blood donation helping to save only 3 lives, and not 5 lives like dogs?
Unlike dogs’ blood, cats’ blood can only be used for transfusions of whole blood, red cells or plasma.
To donate blood, your animal must
- Be healthy and have a good temperament
- Be between 1 and 8 years of age
- Be sterilized
- Have their vaccination up to date and take heartworm and tick prevention (annually)
- For cats, be kept indoors at all times
- Never have received a blood transfusion in the past
- Weigh more than (healthy weight) :
- 10 lbs (4.5 kg) for a cat
- 55 lbs (25 kg) for a dog
As well, they must not eat raw food!
What can I expect on donation day?
- A general exam and a blood test will be performed in order to obtain your pet's complete blood profile, determine his blood type and make sure that he's not a carrier of certain blood-transmitted infections (heartworm, tick-borne diseases, feline AIDS, feline leukemia, etc.).
- Depending on his temperament, a sedative may be administered.
- This sedative is administered through a short injection.
- A small area will be shaved on your animal’s neck to access the jugular vein.
- For the donation, approximately 450 ml of blood will be taken for dogs, and 50 ml for cats.
- Your pet will receive a meal as soon as the sedative’s effect wears off, to help him recover more quickly.
- Your animal will be resting for the rest of the day, under supervision in our treatment room.
How frequently can my pet make a blood donation?
Animals can safely donate blood every 4 to 6 weeks, but we prefer to spread the donations to every 3 or 4 months.
A record is kept of your pet's name, dates and sites of collection, as well as any relevant comments to help us with future donations.
Are there any other animals that can donate blood?
We also have a department of birds and exotic pets, and these animals may sometimes require a blood transfusion as well. Although we do not keep blood from these species available at all times, there may be circumstances where a donor is urgently needed. We maintain a registry of potential donors and will be glad to add you to the list.
As a pet owner, what are my benefits?
- Free of charge : The general exam and blood tests are done at no charge. A free nail clipping will also be done after each donation.
- Shared results : If the blood test reveals abnormalities that could affect your pet's health, we will forward the results to your family veterinarian or refer you to one of our specialists.
- Free transfusion : Should this procedure become necessary in the future (we hope not!), your pet will receive a blood transfusion free of charge.
- Free bag of food : A small (4 kg) bag of Hill's pet food will be given to you after each donation.
- Blood donor bandana : Your pet will proudly wear a free bandana, indicating that they have donated blood and thus helped save the lives of other animals!
We ask for a commitment from each donor and their family to contribute a minimum of two donations per year, for a minimum of one to two years. Naturally, we are very flexible to accommodate your schedule!
For more information or to make an appointment, please contact one of our teams: