ANIMAL BLOOD BANK
Your pet could save a life
Your pet could save a life
Just like humans, some dogs have serious illnesses or injuries that may require a blood transfusion. In partnership with the blood bank at Mount Laurel Animal Hospital, we are proud to support the emergent needs of our patients by hosting drives at our location at 195 S New Rd
To perform blood transfusions, we need access to donor blood. This donor blood comes from other dogs whose owners have signed them up for blood donor programs, like this one!
For any pet owner with a dog in need, canine blood donations are very important, as they give the receiving dog a second chance at life. There is always a need for blood donations…just ask Mo!
Mo, who is now 9 years old, was a rescue from a shelter in East Orange, NJ. He was brought up from the south with his 2 siblings, Manny and Curly. Mo was the last to go due to having demodex (a common infestation of the dog’s skin with tiny, cigar-shaped, eight-legged mites). Mo’s rescuer gave him lots of TLC through treatment, and all of his fur grew back and he became the handsome man he is today!
From this moment, Mo’s mom wanted to give back since she was so happy and blessed that Mo became part of her life.
Mo perfectly fit all of the canine requirements for a blood donor, so his mom thought this was the perfect way to help other pets. After his blood screening, Mo was classified as having DEA 1 Negative, which made him an excellent candidate for blood donation.
Over the course of 2 and 1/2 years, Mo donated the maximum to save the most lives. He also donated to 2 small dogs that were brought into our hospital from Animal Control. He saved 2 lives in one day and was happy to do so.
Animals may need blood transfusions for different reasons. Your pet’s blood is made of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Blood can be separated into these various components so that the specific transfusion needs of your pet can be met. The most common transfusions involve the use of red blood cells or plasma.
Red blood cells are used in the treatment of anemia (low red blood cell count). Red blood cells may be needed following an accident to during surgery when blood is lost. They are also needed when your dog’s body cannot produce enough red blood cells by itself or when diseases cause the body to destroy its own red blood cells.
Please help us save lives by enrolling your companion pet in the AVH Pet Blood Donor Program. One unit of blood can treat 2 to 4 patients.
Blood types are determined by molecules (proteins and carbohydrates) on the surface of the red blood cells. Dogs have at least six well characterized blood types, also known as dog erythrocyte antigens (DEA). The antigens are DEA 1.1, 1.2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. The blood type considered most important in dogs is DEA 1.1. Dogs that are negative for DEA 1.1 can give blood to dogs that are DEA 1.1 negative or positive, but dogs that are DEA 1.1 positive can only give blood safely to dogs that are DEA 1.1 positive. Dogs that are negative for DEA 1.1 and the majority of other blood types are considered “universal” blood donors.
The health and welfare of our pet blood donors is our most important concern. A unit of canine blood is equivalent to the pint donated by people. We enroll healthy dogs between 1-6 years of age, and our canine donors retire at 8 years old. One of the most important qualities of a canine blood donor is a calm, friendly temperament, and willingness to be gently restrained on their side or sitting up and still for approximately 8-10 minutes during preparation and collection of blood. Dogs weighing more than 50 pounds can safely donate a unit of blood every 8 weeks.
Cat donors must be healthy and happy, greater than 10 lbs, (preferably over 12 lbs), between the ages of 1 and 6 years, and be friendly and easy to handle.
For dogs, the unit of blood is collected from the jugular vein in the neck since this is the most accessible and least sensitive site for venipuncture. At the time of donation, a small area over this site is shaved and cleaned prior to venipuncture. We use the same blood collection setup as that used for human blood donors. Instead of sitting in a chair, the dog should be able to lie or sit quietly on a table for 10 minutes during the collection process. We may use light sedation for blood donation. The dog is praised and petted during the collection to provide comfort and positive feedback.
Annual health screening consisting of physical examination, appropriate vaccinations, blood test such as a complete blood cell count, serum chemistry, and heartworm test, and a stool examination for intestinal parasites.
If your pet should become a patient in need of blood, the Blood Donor Program will provide a unit of red blood cells and plasma for every unit of blood donated by the pet.
After the whole blood is collected, it is spun in a centrifuge to separate the red cells from the plasma. Plasma contains important clotting factors and other proteins. 450 mls of blood can be separated into two units of packed red blood cells and two units of plasma. This means a single donation could potentially help 4 dogs! Packed red blood cells can be kept refrigerated for 5 weeks and plasma can be kept frozen for a year.
The blood is collected in sterile plastic bags and is handled and stored in much the same way as human blood. Each bag has an expiration date and is destroyed after it expires.