Could Your Dog be a Blood Donor?

Criteria to be a Blood Donor:

  • Healthy and even-tempered
  • Weighs 50lbs or more (not obese)
  • Between the ages of 1-8 years
  • If female, spayed & no previous litters
  • Have current vaccinations
  • Recommended to be on Heartworm prevention

Here is one of our cases.

Kyra’s Story!

Kyra, an 8-month-old Rottweiler/ Lab mix, was rushed to our hospital on an emergency, where she was lethargic, dull and her gums were white after having a routine surgery done on Sept 29th. Her owners arrived here on Sept 30th. They had previously brought Kyra to her regular clinic to get checked out. She was lethargic, dull, wasn’t eating or drinking. They performed blood tests at her clinic, where they determined she was anemic, and bleeding internally. Her owners were faced with a few tough decisions. They could perform the surgery at her regular clinic. However, they do not have access to perform blood transfusions. Or, they could travel to the Riverview Animal Hospital and get the surgery done here and also have a blood transfusion. Kyra’s owners decided on coming here.

Kyra spent the evening of Sept 30th with us at RAH where she was monitored overnight to see if her red blood cells would increase. We checked her clotting factors, the PCV (packed cell volume) the night she came in on an emergency. Her PCV was holding at 17% all evening. However, the next morning Kyra’s bloodwork showed her PCV falling to 11%. She became Tachycardic, her gums were a light pink and had a dull mentation. Kyra’s owners were contacted in the early morning of Oct 1st, and the vet suggested they do surgery on Kyra, as well as a blood transfusion. Kyra’s owners accepted. Kyra is a very special dog; she has a blood type DEA 1.1 Negative. She can only receive blood from another dog who shares the same blood type as her.

My name is Mandi; I am a Vet Tech at RAH. I was contacted early morning Oct 1st to bring in my dog Willow, to donate blood to Kyra. I was so excited to be called in, this was Willow’s first transfusion. Willow was going to save a life today! I was introduced to Kyra’s owners who were eternally grateful that I brought my dog in. They gave me a hug, and I was really touched by their gratefulness.

We collected blood from Willow then immediately started transfusing to Kyra. She was taken into surgery by Dr. Arsenault, where they suctioned about 400 ml of blood from Kyra’s abdomen. They discovered where the internal bleeding was from, and securely tied off the vessel. Once Kyra was awake, you could already see her gums were becoming more pink, and she was reacting very well from the transfusion. Kyra’s PCV was maintaining at 20% post-transfusion, and she was cleared to go home on Oct 2nd.

Update on Kyra today!  She is doing fantastic!  She recovered very quickly at home with her mom, dad and her two doggy sisters. Celine, Kyra’s mom, said she is the best dog ever! She is calm, lovable, listens good and is a very good runner and walking buddy! Everyone here at the clinic is happy that Kyra made a full recovery, and I for one will never forget her!


Written by Riverview Animal Hospital