Pilchuck Blood Bank for Dogs and Cats

Volunteers needed! Pets in our blood bank donor program donate blood to help other pets in need of transfusions. Pet donors and their people help us save lives!

pilchuck-blood-bank

For more than 10 years, Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital has offered a blood bank for dogs and cats. Advances in veterinary transfusion technology have fueled the need for blood products, which can save the lives of many companion animals. Donated blood from dogs and cats can be processed into fresh plasma and packed red blood cells to help other pets in need.

The blood bank staff is committed to ensuring the best possible experience for you and your pet.

Requirements

  • Dogs: minimum of 50 lbs. and between 1 and 7 years old
  • Cats: minimum of 10 lbs., between 1 and 7 years old, and strictly indoors
  • Current on vaccinations
  • Never had a blood transfusion
  • In good health
  • On a good flea preventative
  • Spayed or neutered (with known reproductive history)

Screening

Dogs and cats have different blood types, so the screening process is different for each.

Blood types in dogs are complex and involve at least eight different blood groups, with dogs either positive or negative for each blood group. Negative dogs may be universal donors but require further typing. DEA1 positive dogs are the most common in the population but are not universal donors. Therefore, not as many of these dogs are required as donors, and they may be placed on a waiting list.

Cats have three blood types: A (the most common), B and AB. There is no universal donor. All cats must be transfused with the same blood type.

The following tests are required for potential donors:

  • Complete blood typing for negative dogs and Type B or AB cats
  • Complete chemistry and CBC
  • Heartworm (dogs)
  • FIV/FeLV (cats)
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal parasite screen
  • Infectious disease panel

Note that complete testing may take up to three weeks to complete.

Benefits

In addition to helping save lives, our blood bank donors receive the following veterinary services at no cost on an annual basis:

  • Annual exam (excluding illness and injury)
  • Vaccinations
  • Complete chemistry and CBC
  • Urinalysis
  • Fecal parasite screen

Donors must donate a minimum of three times a year to receive the annual lab work and vaccinations listed above. 

Finally, if your dog or cat needs a transfusion in the future, the blood itself will be at no charge.

Meet Our Donors

rocky-canine-blood-bank

Rocky: “Hi! My name is Rocky. I was adopted when I was about 8 weeks old and looked like a little teddy bear. I have been in the donor program for about three years. I have made many emergency night visits to the clinic for critical patients that need blood right away. I love being able to help my fellow dogs. I get a snack and some fluids under my skin when I donate ... and I even get a pedicure, too! When I am not helping to save lives, I spend as much time as possible with my mom, going to obedience class and the dog park, and lounging on the couch.”

tito-feline-blood-bank

Tito: “Hello! My name is Valentino, aka Tito. I was adopted six years ago from a humane society by one of Pilchuck’s technicians. I’m nothing but a ham in the clinic, and I love all the attention I can get from anyone willing to spare me the time. I have been in the blood donor program for the past few years helping sick animals get well.”

Donor Stories

Sam: “My mom and dad brought me to Pilchuck when I was really sick. I was so weak that they had to carry me everywhere. At one point, I found out I needed a blood transfusion because I had something called IMHA. That’s what was making me so sick. Then I met Dwight, who was in the donor program. His blood helped me feel better so I could go home and be with my family. He saved my life.”

Dwight: “I had been in the donor program almost a year when I met Sam. She was so sick, and my mom had me donate blood for her. When I found out I was going to save a life, I was so proud, and my mom was, too. I still donate blood to save more of my friends.”

Want to Help?

If you are interested in our blood bank program, contact the small-animal department at 360.568.3113 or smallanimalinfo@pilchuckvet.net. We look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for your interest!