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Taking a blood donation from a dog

If you are curious about the actual blood donation process you may find this article helpful. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Blood can be collected in unsedated dogs if they are cooperative, which is often the case for those of an easy-going temperament.

blood donor donation kit

Above: A blood collection kit, Swabs, Gloves, Needle and Blood bag.
Each donation requires a fresh kit.

Collections can also be made from the sedated or anaesthetised animal if necessary. Cats typically need sedation or general anaesthesia for an effective collection. Blood is usually taken into standard human blood bags or syringes that contain anti-coagulant.

Canine Blood Transfusion

The Donor...

A large accessible vein is needed-this is typically a vein in the neck or, sometimes, the cephalic vein on the front of the foreleg.The area is usually clipped and cleaned and aseptically prepared before insertion of the needle.

The donor is either gently held sitting or lying on his/her side. The needle (from a standard human blood collection kit) is gently inserted into the vein until a free flow of blood is obtained.

Injection, canine blood donation

About ten minutes later...

The collection bag is gently moved around by an assistant to ensure free mixing of blood with the anti-clotting solution in the bag. Collection time is usually about 10 minutes for a full bag and varies from donor to donor.

After donation, there are rarely any ill effects. A light dressing may be applied over the site of collection to keep it clean for a day or so.

A treat after a donation

Finish with a treat!...

Often a small meal is offered (like tea and biscuits for us!) after a donation, as a reward.

After donation an area of swelling and bruising may be seen which should fade over a few days.