Canine Blood Bank Information
Just like human beings, animals occasionally need blood transfusions. Donated blood can be needed during surgery, or when treating illness or disease. In many cases, a blood transfusion can save a pet’s life, with a single donation helping up to four individual dogs.
The Pet Blood Bank is a charity that provides a national canine blood bank to all UK vet surgeries. Founded in 2007, this not for profit organisation collect, process and store canine blood products.
The Pet Blood Bank obtains its blood donations at organised collection sessions. These are held on a regular basis throughout the UK, although they are typically held in larger metropolitan areas, so you may need to travel ten miles or so to donate. If there is not any sessions held regularly in your local area, you can still register your dog’s details, and the charity will contact you when an event is held near you.
For your dog to be considered as a donor, there are certain criteria that need to be met. Donors should:
- Be aged between one and eight years old.
- Weigh at least 25kg.
- Have a good temperament.
- Have never travelled abroad.
- Be fully vaccinated.
- Not be on any medication.
If your dog does not fit this criteria, you could still fundraise or volunteer if you want to be involved.
The Donation Process
When your dog arrives at the blood drive, they will receive an examination to check they are physically fit. They will also be microchipped if they do not already have one. A qualified phlebotomist will then take about 450ml of blood from your dog. This should not hurt or worry the animal as a local anaesthetic cream is used, and the dogs are given lots of reassurance and positive attention throughout the process. The dog is then given a well-deserved treat and a drink. The whole process takes about 45 minutes, although the actual blood donation takes only five to ten minutes. You should also get a full haematology and biochemistry profile, to ensure your dog’s health too.