If a pet is suitable, the next stage in our assessment of your pet is to have an appointment with one of our qualified veterinary nurses. This gives us the chance to make sure your pet is comfortable in our surroundings. At this time, we would also take a small sample of blood.
This sample of blood is necessary to ‘type’ the blood. Just like humans, there are many different blood types 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. If we know in advance what blood group your pet is, we would only then contact you in an emergency if your pet was a suitable blood type. 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. We would ask you to be able to bring your dog or cat into Charter Veterinary Hospital, Roundswell, or Mullacott Veterinary Practice, Ilfracombe, at short notice. However, you would not be under any obligation, if you have other commitments at that time.
Any blood donors that we call on has a full health check and blood 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.
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 light lead exercise for 2-3 days and cats are kept indoors for 2-3 days post donation.