- Charter Veterinary Hospital, Roundswell, Barnstaple
- Bridge House Surgery, Pilton, Barnstaple
- St. John's Surgery, Newport, Barnstaple
- Mullacott Veterinary Hospital, Ilfracombe
- South Street Surgery, Braunton
Blood Donor Scheme For Pets
Did you know both cats and dogs can become blood donors?
We regularly use blood products through The Pet Blood Bank which is based in Leicestershire – but when an emergency occurs our pets may need blood at short notice.
We hold a Charter Pets Blood Donor Register : where clients with suitable healthy animals, that we have blood typed in advance, are available for us to call upon to provide life saving blood for critically ill patients in their time of need.
Would your pet be a suitable blood donor hero?
There are a number of factors that influence whether or not an animal is suitable. These include:
- Pets need to be calm and relaxed when visiting the vets.
- All animals should be fully vaccinated
- Pets should not be on any ongoing medication or treatments
- Pets should be treated for fleas and wormed regularly
- They should not have been abroad at all
- Dogs should be over 25kg in weight
- Cats should be over 4kg in weight
- Dogs should be between the age of 1 - 7 years of age
- Cats should be between the ages of 1 - 8 years of age
If a pet is suitable the next stage would be to have a free appointment with one of our qualified veterinary nurses – this gives us the chance to make sure your pet is comfortable in our surroundings and then we would also take a small sample of blood for typing.
Just like humans there are many different ‘types’ of blood in both cats and dogs. In cats there are three main blood groups and in dogs there are two main groups with up to 20 sub groups. As with humans if the wrong type of blood is given to a patient it could cause a detrimental adverse reaction. This is why it is important that we know what blood group your pet is, so that in an emergency we contact the appropriate donor.
Once your pet has been assessed and their blood has been typed they can then be added to our list of available donors.
Although dogs and cats can safely donate blood every 3 months, current trends suggest that we would contact you less than once per year. If your pet was needed we would ask you to bring your dog or cat into Charter Veterinary Hospital, Roundswell, or Mullacott Veterinary Hospital possibly at short notice. However, you would not be under any obligation, if you have other commitments at that time.
Any blood donor heroes that we call upon have a full health check and blood health test before donating to make sure they are in good health – if there was any concern that they might be under the weather then we would not proceed with donation.
If we proceed to donation, cats and dogs are usually given a light sedation to keep them calm and stop them moving suddenly whilst the procedure is carried out. If for any reason they become anxious then we would stop the donation.
We only ever take an appropriate calculated amount of blood from your pet. After donation we usually keep your pet in with us for a few hours to make sure they recover from the sedation, and we would recommend that dogs are given only gentle exercise for 2-3 days and cats are kept indoors for 2-3 days post donation.
The are no cost associated with being on the donor scheme. As a ‘thank you’ for allowing your pet to donate we provide a £30 goodwill credit to your pets account for each donation.
If you feel you might be able to assist us in helping provide a potentially life saving opportunity to local pets, or if you have any additional question please contact Kate Leworthy or Tam Wren at Charter Veterinary Hospital on 01271 371115.