Whether it’s understanding blood types, the donation process, or the frequency of donations, we’ve covered it all. Our goal is to ensure that both you and your pet feel confident and comfortable throughout the donation journey. Dive into our FAQs to become a more informed and prepared pet owner in our blood donor program.
Do dogs and cats have blood types?
Yes, just like us they have different blood types. Dogs have 2 main blood types that we check for here; DEA 1.1 Positive and DEA 1.1 Negative. DEA 1.1 Negative is considered to be the universal blood donor type for dogs. Cats have 3 different blood types that we check for here; A, B, and AB. There is no universal blood donor type for cats.
When I bring my pet into the MVA Blood Bank donor program, what should I expect?
From start to finish, expect your pet to be with us for 30 – 60 minutes. Your dog or cat will receive a full physical examination and have required bloodwork (Complete blood panel, infections disease screening and blood typing) prior to donation. This will be repeated annually. Prior to each donation a small amount of blood will be checked to make sure your pet is not anemic and can safely donate. The blood donation procedure takes approximately 5-10 minutes, where your pet is gently held in a seated or lying down position. A small patch of hair will be shaved with clippers on the neck (one or both sides) so we have clean/unobstructed access to the vein. Keeping in mind that some pets skin and haircoat can cause slight clipper irritation to that area. After the blood draw, as in human medicine, light pressure will be applied to the area, and possibly a light bandage may be placed, to reduce any potential bruising. If a bandage is placed it can be removed 1 hour after returning home. Although occasionally despite our best efforts, bruises may be noticeable. After the donation, we will feed your pet a nutritious meal, as well as provide water during their time with us. We will monitor them for approximately 30 minutes prior to clearing them to go home. We will keep you informed if we feel it is safest to monitor them for slightly longer.
Things to avoid post blood donation for 24 hours are: heavy play and exercise, as well as avoid using neck leads during outside walks. No restrictions on food and water intake.
What are some of the benefits to my pet becoming a blood donor?
When you and your pet become a part of our blood donor program your pet will receive free annual bloodwork, free annual infectious disease screening, swag for both you and your pet on donation day, and the knowledge that your pet saved a life!
How long does the donation take?
The actual donation takes only about 5 minutes but you should plan on being here for 30-60 minutes for the preparations before the donation and the snacks/monitoring after the donation.
Are there any side effects of donating?
No! We strive to make this as stress free and painless as possible.
How often can my pet donate?
We will set up a schedule once your initial visit and bloodwork is performed. Usually donations are done every 8-12 weeks.