Pet blood donation is a life-saving act and can be a little scary when you are unaware of the process and the know-how. We get that. Our fur babies mean the world to us, so when something like donating their blood comes into the picture, it is understandable to have a lot of questions. Because our fur babies mean the world to us, we must look out for other pets too and help any pet or streetie who needs us. We, more than anyone else, know what it’s like to love an animal and help save their lives.
Ever since the #BondedByBlood initiative has begun, there have been a lot of questions that pet parents have been asking us about blood donation in pets. So let’s get right into the process of blood donation and the questions you want to know the answers to.
Before we begin, let’s quickly understand-
Blood transfusion and blood types in dogs & cats
Like humans, pets too have blood types. Blood transfusion in cats and dogs is not breed specific but species specific. That means a Golden Retriever dog can receive blood from an Indie dog and a Maine Coon cat can receive blood from a Persian cat. Crossmatching (a test to ensure the compatibility of the two types of blood) is done before a pet receives blood from another. However, crossmatching is not necessary if your pet is receiving blood for the first time. There are over 13 recognized blood types in dogs and 3 in cats. Because of evolution and mutation, new blood types in dogs and cats are still being discovered. There’s a lot to know about our pets’ blood types and blood transfusion, that is why we wrote a whole other blog on it! Head to this link to know more- https://bit.ly/3BIQlE8
The process of blood donation
There are some parameters that a donor pet needs to meet to be able to donate blood. We get this question asked a lot by most pet parents. So here’s a list that can help you ensure if your pet is fit to donate blood:
Donor Eligibility Criteria
- Clinically healthy and between 1 to 8 years of age
- Weighing above 8 kg for small breeds, 14 kg for medium breeds, 25 kg for large breeds in dogs and above 4 kg in cats
- Completely vaccinated and dewormed
- Free from any diseases
- Free from any illnesses in the last 6 months
- Free from ticks and fleas
- Genetic diseases should be known by Pet Parent
- Not under any medication
- Should not have a travel history which is recent
- If the pet is female, she should have not been pregnant in the last 6 months
Your vet may conduct some tests before your pet donates blood.
IMP: Healthy dogs and cats can donate blood every 4 to 5 months
Once the pet is cleared to donate blood, the vet will start the blood donation process.
Following is the process of blood donation in pets:
- The pet is made comfortable before donation, making sure they’re calm and relaxed
- The pet will then be laid on a table on their side. Blood is usually drawn from the jugular vein at the neck but the vet may also collect the blood from their paw
- This is done by using an IV catheter which is attached to a specialized EDTA blood bag
- Up to 20% of the blood volume is usually collected in one time
- Throughout the process, the pet receives a lot of care, praise & attention for the amazing job they’re doing
- The process of blood donation lasts from 1 to 3 hrs depending on the clinical situation of the pet and the process of blood collection lasts for less than 30 minutes
- Once done, the pet is provided with a health supplement or an energy booster and kept under observation for 2 hours
- Most pets recover quickly and go about their day as they normally would. It is recommended that you give your pet nutritious food, provide hydrating drinks like coconut water and avoid any strenuous activities after blood donation.
FAQs on Pet Blood Donation
Donating your pet’s blood may seem scary, but blood donation can actually revive your pet’s blood cells, improve immunity and is completely safe. We also understand that you have questions and concerns but we want to know that blood donation in pets is safe and a noble life-saving act.
Here are the answers to the questions that are frequently asked by parents about blood donation:
- Which pets cannot donate blood?
The parameters for a pet to donate blood have been stated above. Pets with the following conditions cannot donate blood:
- Abnormal blood clotting mechanism
- Low platelet count
- Cardiac arrest
- Genetic disability
- Pet recovered/suffering from canine distemper
- Is blood donation in pets safe?
- Blood donation in pets is completely safe as it is carried out in a clinical environment under a vet’s supervision. Most pets go back to normal within 24-48 hours.
- Is blood donation painful for pets?
- The entire process is quick and painless. The pet is made comfortable before donation and the process is carried out in a clinical environment by trained medical professionals who make sure your pet is comfortable throughout the process of blood donation.
- Does blood donation make my pet weak or vulnerable to other diseases?
- Blood donation does not make your pet weak or compromise their immunity. In fact, their immunity gets stronger after blood donation. Pets are provided with health boosters and kept under observation for 2 hours to check for any signs of weakness, if noticed, they are addressed immediately.
- Can pets be sedated during blood donation?
- Pees shouldn’t be sedated during the process of blood donation. Sedation can be life-threatening to the blood donor.
- What should I do before my pet donates blood?
- Your pet should be fed 2 hours before donation to avoid vomiting during traveling. You can give them medicines to control their motion sickness, speak to your vet about what would be the best option. Apart from that, CBC test, platelet counts test and all the blood tests recommended by the vet should be conducted before donation.
- What should I do after my pet donates blood?
Your pet should be provided with nutritious food, a healthy drink and lots of water after they have donated blood. Keep a close eye on them for at least 48 hours, look out for any signs of distress or unusual activity, speak to your vet if you notice any.
- Can blood donation take place across breeds?
- Yes! As mentioned earlier, blood donation is species specific and not breed specific. So your Indie dog can donate blood to a Labrador and a Persian cat can donate blood to a Scottish Fold. Breeds do not play a role in blood donation but blood types do.
- Can a pet who has recovered from parvovirus or tick fever donate blood to a pet suffering from the same?
- Absolutely! A pet who has recovered from parvovirus or tick fever can donate blood as they have antibodies that aid faster recovery of the recipient.
- How often can cats and dogs donate blood?
- Healthy cats and dogs can donate blood every 2 to 3 months.
- How long is the procedure of blood donation?
- The process of blood donation usually lasts for 1 to 3 hrs and the process of blood collection lasts for less than 30 minutes.
- Can I be present with my pet when they are donating blood?
- You can, but since blood donation is carried out in a clinical environment and pets, especially dogs behave much better without the pet parents, the blood donation procedure is faster when the pet parent is not around. However, you can still stay with your pet if you wish to do so.
- Where can I donate my pet’s blood?
- Currently, there are no private blood banks for pets in India. That is why Wiggles.in has come up with the #BondedByBlood initiative that aims to connect blood donors & recipients from all over India.
- Can I get paid to donate my pet’s blood?
- A blood transfusion in pets is carried out only in life-threatening conditions and pets need blood only as a last resort for survival. Morally, blood donors should not charge any money for donations. The recipients can foot the traveling bill for the donor if the distance to be covered by the donor is too much.
- How much does a blood test report cost?
- A blood test usually costs around Rs. 500 to Rs. 2000 depending on the tests required.
- Why is it important to know my pet’s blood type?
Dogs and cats have blood types just like us. If your pet is receiving blood for the first time cross-matching (test for compatibility) is not necessary. But if a pet is receiving blood for the second time, it is important to give them blood that is compatible with their own. Transfusion of incompatible blood can be fatal. Hence, knowing your pet’s blood type is important to donate & receive blood.Q. How can I register my pet as a blood donor under the #BondedByBlood initiative?
- Step 1: Fill the google form- https://bit.ly/BBBDonorRegistration
- Step 2: You will receive a confirmation email on your registered email ID
- Step 3: If you’ve registered as a donor, our team will get in touch when we receive a request for blood donation and if your pet is a match for that request. If you’ve registered as a recipient, our team will try their best to get you in touch with a compatible donor.
Please note if you’re registering as a recipient:
- Keep soft copies of your aadhar card, medical prescription or blood report handy and upload them on the form when needed.
- Register as a recipient only when your pet is in need of blood.
We hope we have answered all your questions and put your worries about pet blood donation to rest. Blood donation in pets is a lot like it is in humans, in fact it’s a noble act that is the need of the hour. Many pets lose their lives due to myths about blood donation and lack of information and resources. Please help us change this by registering your pet as a blood donor and saving lives.
Do you have more questions? Tell us! Our team of vet experts will be more than delighted to help. Just comment below or call us on +91 8431620000 and we will help you out!
Like, comment and share this blog with more pet parents to register as many pets as blood donors. Let’s save lives together! :)
Wiggles.in is a leading D2C petcare brand in the preventive healthcare space for pets with a range of products and services on offer. With pets taking prime focus in every Indian household, Wiggles.in is all set to create an online repository of pets who are eligible to donate blood to their counterparts in times of medical emergencies and making it accessible to pet parents Pan-India.
*Disclaimer: This blog is vet-approved and includes original content which is compiled after thorough research and authenticity by our in-house team of vets and content experts. It is always advisable to consult a veterinarian before you try any products, pet food or any kind of treatment/medicines on your pets, as each pet is unique and will respond differently.