Advanced Care

Blood Bank

Attention large and giant breed dog parents. Would you like to enroll your well-mannered dog into our life-saving blood donation program? There are many valuable benefits to you and your dog including annual wellness exams, blood work and vaccines at no cost to you. If you are interested, please read the requirements below:

Blood Donor Requirements and Benefits

To be considered for admission into the blood donor program you must agree to the following:

• Allow your dog to donate blood every 2-3 months
• Remain in the program for at least 2 years as long as your pet is deemed healthy
• Be available for emergency donations
• Allow pictures of your dog to be taken for advertisement and posts to VCA websites

Requirements of a canine blood donor:

• Have a calm, even-tempered personality
• Weigh at least 55 pounds
• Male or spayed female (cannot be pregnant or in heat)
• No previous blood transfusions
• Between 1-6 years of age (or 1-4 years of age if giant breed)
• Current on vaccinations for rabies, distemper, adenovirus 2, parvo virus, parainfluenza, influenza and bordetella
• On heartworm preventative
• Should not be taking any medications that could pose a threat to recipient
• Have a normal physical exam at least yearly performed by a veterinarian at VCA Valley Animal Hospital and Emergency Center

If your dog meets the above criteria he/she will undergo a series of blood testing to ensure that the health status is adequate and they have the appropriate blood type to be considered donors. These tests are at no charge to you and some of the tests will be repeated yearly while the donor remains part of the program.

Diagnostics that will be performed:

• Blood type for DEA 1.1 in house, must be negative to move on to next step
• Blood DEA typing that meets the requirements of a universal donor or acceptable donor with the use of a special blood collection bag
• Normal CBC, biochemical profile, T4, fecal and urinalysis
• Negative result for the following infectious diseases: Coccidioidomycosis (valley fever), ehrlichiosis (tick fever), lyme disease, anaplasma, brucella canis, heartworm antigen and babesia canis/gibsoni and leishmania if travel history to endemic regions
• If abnormalities are found on examination or laboratory testing further recommendations will be made at the discretion of the veterinarian overseeing the case. Any and all associated costs beyond the initial exam and above mentioned labwork will be your responsibility.
• If your dog is approved for donation we will set up donation and establish a regular donation schedule. However, keep in mind emergency donation requests may occur. If there are any concerns please notify your veterinarian.

What to expect on donation day:

• Please arrive at the requested time of donation
• A complete physical will be done that day to ensure donation is safe
• You will sign an authorization and consent for blood donation form
• You may not be present for the collection of blood itself
• Donations take 1-2 hours so we ask that you drop patient off or can wait in the lobby
• A small area of fur will be shaved from the neck and aseptic technique used to collect blood
• The volume of blood collected will be determined by the medical director and can range from 225mls-700mls (safe donation volume is calculated by overseeing DVM)
• Patient will receive subcutaneous fluids under the skin between the shoulders to help rehydrate the patient

Benefits to the owner/patient for participating in this program:

• Courtesy wellness exam yearly as well as full physical at each donation
• Annual vaccines at no charge (Rabies, DHPP, Influenza, Bordetella, and Lepto)
• Annual routine CBC/CHEM/Coccidiomycosis titer/Fecal/Heartworm/anaplasma/lyme and ehrlichia test
• Heartworm prevention (12month supply), annually
• Flea and tick prevention (12month supply), annually

Please contact Molly Hume if you are interested in being part of this program. You can leave a voicemail for her at (520) 748-0331 (Ext. 2323)