Canine Blood Donor Requirements
To be considered for admission into the blood donor program at the Animal Emergency Clinic of McLean County (AEC), you must agree to the following:
- Allow your dog to donate blood not more than 4 times per year (once every 3 months).
- Remain in the program for at least 2 years.
- Be available for emergency donations.
- Allow pictures of your dog in various advertisements and on the AEC website.
*Your dog will need to have certain physical characteristics and meet certain requirements to be considered for the blood donor program.
Requirements of a canine blood donor:
- Good disposition and tolerate venipuncture and restraint.
- Weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms).
- Male or spayed nulliparous (never pregnant) female.
- No previous blood transfusions.
- Should be 1 to 8 years of age.
- Current on vaccinations for rabies, distemper, adenovirus 2, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis.
- On heartworm preventive.
- Should not be taking any medications that could pose a problem for a recipient.
- Have a normal physical exam on initial evaluation by one of the veterinarians at AEC.
If your dog meets the above criteria, various laboratory tests will be performed to ensure his/her health status and the safety of the blood donor pool. These tests will be done at no cost to you. Some of these tests will be repeated yearly while a member of the donor program.
- Blood Typing (DEA +/-).
- Normal complete blood count, biochemical profile and urinalysis.
- Negative result for the following infectious diseases: Brucellosis, Babesia, Heartworm Disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasma, and (Trypanosomiasis and Leishmania based on breed and travel history).
If abnormalities are found on examination or on laboratory tests, recommendations may be made for further evaluation, diagnostics and/or treatment. Any and all associated costs will be your responsibility and should be done with your primary care veterinarian. If your dog is approved and admitted to the blood donor program we will arrange for him/her to begin donations. We will try to establish a schedule, but alternate days and times may sometimes be needed. We will confirm your donation day and time 3 to 4 days before via e-mail. If there are problems with the timing or with your dog’s health please let us know then.
What to expect on a donation day:
- Please be on time.
- A complete physical exam will be done to make sure there are no problems that would prevent donation that day.
- If there are problems then we will arrange for donation on a different day.
- You will sign an authorization and consent for blood donation form.
- Donations take approximately 1 hour.
- A small amount of blood will be obtained for a PCV and total protein.
- A small area of fur will be shaved from the neck and the skin prepped as if for a surgery.
- Blood will be obtained from the jugular vein using a sterile needle and collection bag.
- About 450 ml of blood will be collected.
- A bandage will be applied after the donation to allow proper clotting to occur.
- Water/food will be offered after the collection to replace volume.
If abnormalities are found the donation will be cancelled and rescheduled if possible. Recommendations may be made for further evaluation, diagnostics and/or treatment. Any and all associated costs will be your responsibility and should be done with your primary care veterinarian.