Pets need transfusions for the same reasons that humans do: surgery, trauma, and disease. Here on the Sunshine Coast, it can be difficult to get blood products, especially on an emergency basis. Many of the staff members have dogs and cats that donate on an as-needed basis, however, we have seen that the need for donors sometimes exceeds the number of staff animals available, so we are often looking for suitable pets to be on our donor list.
Potential donors are dogs between 9 months and 8 years of age weighing at least 25 kg, and cats between 10 months and 8 years of age weighing at least 5kg. All potential donors should be healthy, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. Ideally, they should have a calm and friendly disposition, and have never received a blood transfusion themselves.
All potential donors receive complimentary blood typing and bloodwork to ensure they would be suitable and safe donors. Before each donation, the donor gets a full physical exam, and they are closely monitored during and after donation to ensure that our donors stay safe and healthy.
The donation procedure itself is very safe and takes about 20 minutes. It is performed by a Veterinary Technician under a veterinarian’s supervision. Some dogs and most cats will receive light sedation to make them as calm and stress-free as possible. After the donation, fluid therapy is provided if needed, and they get a little snack (just like when people donate blood).