The Donation Process
The pet blood donation process (platelet apherises) is very similar to the human donation process. However, the timing of pet blood donation is different –blood is taken as needed. Your pet must already be apart of our donor program and be listed in our database of eligible donors in order to donate.
The entire process takes less than 30 minutes - from the time you arrive at our hospital with your pet until the time your pet’s donation is complete. The donation itself is only about 8-10 minutes. However, we like your furry friend to rest with us for a couple hours after the donation.
- We will call you and schedule a time for your pet’s donation.
- You prepare for your pet for his/her blood donation.
- Hydrate your pet. It is a good idea to make sure your pet drinks plenty of water the day of the donation.
- Relax! Donating blood for pets is very similar to when humans donate blood; it is simple, safe, and pain-free.
- Your pet donates blood.
- We shave a small area of your pet’s neck and cleanse the shaven area with antibacterial soap.
- Your pet’s comfort is important to us; some additional steps to consider:
- For cats, a cat is typically given a local anesthetic agent for their comfort.
- For dogs, we can give dogs a local anesthetic agent on the shaven area to numb the area for extra comfort. We can also give dogs a light sedation if they are overly anxious or re-schedule your dog’s donation for another day when they are not anxious. (Please remember we screen your dog’s temperament before they enter our Dog Blood Donor Program; thus, this measure is rare.)
- We insert a brand new sterile needle for the blood draw. Like a human donation, this feels like a quick pinch to your pet and is over in seconds. It is no different than if your pet received a vaccination or routine blood testing.
- The actual pet donation takes about 8-10 minutes, during which your pet will be laying down comfortably.
- Once the blood has been collected, the donation is complete and we will place a pressure bandage on your pet’s neck.
- Your pet is given a refreshment and rest. Once a pet donation is complete, we give your pet some food and let him/her rest for a couple of hours. We will also send him/her home with a pet goodie bag.
- The donation process is complete; continue to hydrate your pet throughout the day.
After the Donation Process
- Get a bandana for your dog or a special tag for your cat to wear. We want you and your pet to be proud of the donation. Your pet can wear these items to show other pets and pet owners that he/she is a donor.
- Get your pet’s picture taken. With your permission, we will post your pet’s picture our Pet Blood Donor Wall in our lobby. We can send you home with a copy of your pet’s picture.
- Let us “tweet” to the pet community that your pet is a live saver! In your pet’s honor, we like to post a “tweet” on our Twitter Page about your pet’s kind generosity.
- Let us give your pet further special recognition. Giving blood is a big deal. We want to show our appreciation for your pet’s donation on our website and Facebook page.
- Accept our most sincere thank you. Please know our deep gratitude for your pet’s donation. We truly appreciate it.
- Enjoy knowing that you both helped save another pet’s live! You and your pet should be feeling great all day long.
- Help spread the word about the importance of pet blood donations. Tell everyone about your experience. Please ask us about our Ambassador Program and other ways to help us spread the word.
Want to learn more? Click to read the most commonly asked questions and answers.