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Northeast Indiana Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital

Blood Donor Hero

A vizsla wearing a red cape standing on a mountain side

Did you know that pets need blood transfusions too?

Our hospital treats numerous patients throughout the year that require blood or plasma transfusions, vital to their recovery process. Pets that suffer from trauma, anemia, and bleeding disorders are the most commonly seen patients that require these services. The demand for blood products continues to increase. Your dog or cat may qualify as a blood donor and be a hero for those in need!

Our blood donor program is a volunteer-based program for client and employee pets. If you are interested in your pet joining the program, please see the qualifications below and call our hospital at (260) 426-1062. During your initial visit, a small blood sample will be taken to determine your pet’s blood type. We will also assess his/her personality. If your pet has the right blood type and demeanor, he/she will have a complete bloodwork run and screen for blood-borne diseases. These tests are performed yearly at no cost to you as long as you participate in the program—that’s a $500 value! Additionally, all donors are paid $75.00 per donation.

Blood Donor Program FAQs

Can my pet donate?

Ideal dog donors would be older than 18 months of age, greater than 50 lbs, friendly/social, and healthy with no known medical conditions.

Ideal cat donors would be older than 12 months of age, greater than 10 lbs, indoor only, friendly/social, and healthy with no known medical conditions.

Will it hurt my pet to donate?

The process of donating blood is simple and pain-free. It takes about 30-45 minutes. Dogs are given a light sedation and cats are anesthetized so they won’t feel a thing! Giving blood will not hinder their activities, but they should rest and take it easy on the day of donation.

How often can they donate?

The frequency will depend on the need but most pets donate on an average of every 3 months. A complete physical examination will be performed by a veterinarian prior to each donation. It is important to continue your pet’s routine preventative care (heartworm, flea/tick, vaccines, etc.) while they are active in the donor program.

Where is the blood kept until a pet needs it?

Blood products are stored right here in the hospital within a special blood bank refrigerator or freezer.