Lifesaving Canine Blood Bank at UVTHS

Dogs and their owners can now give the gift of life to other dogs thanks to the blood bank recently established by the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney. There are a number of reasons why a dog would require a blood transfusion, such as after a serious trauma, which is why blood needs to be available immediately.

As with humans, the success of the program is dependent on the availability of suitable donors. Dogs can donate if they meet the following criteria:

  • fit and healthy
  • between 1 and 8 years of age
  • weigh more than 20 kg
  • have a good temperament
  • able to lay still for 10–15 minutes
  • never travelled outside Australia 
  • up to date on vaccinations and deworming
  • receiving treatment for heartworm prevention as well as tick and flea prevention
  • not receiving any medication
  • have never received a blood transfusion

A dog can donate blood every three months and the donor usually visits the clinic in the morning and is ready to home home that afternoon. At the first donation their blood group is determined, and a thorough physical examination is performed before every donation. 

The process for collection is similar to that for humans. It takes approximately 10 – 15 minutes and only a small amount of a dog’s blood is collected. Blood products can be stored for up to four weeks and plasma for up to a year therefore it is a very worthwhile process.

As a token of our appreciation participants are given a $100 voucher that can be redeemed on food or consumables. In addition, donors are provided with a choice of a K9 Life Saver collar or leash to acknowledge their valuable contribution.

For more information on how your dog can help to save lives, please contact our reception team on 02 9351 3437.