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Blood Donation

Ft. Thomas Animal Hospital Blood Donor Program

Critically ill veterinary patients with cancer, anemia, underlying clotting issues, or trauma (such as internal bleeding from a motor vehicle accident) often need blood or plasma transfusions. Blood products can be a life-saving treatment, and are currently provided to FTAH patients by animals belonging to our veterinarians, staff and volunteer client owned animals. We are currently looking for volunteer dogs to donate blood to FTAH patients. Please see the requirements below to find out if your pet can become a life-saving HERO!

Canine Blood Donor Requirements:
  • Must be friendly and happy to meet people
  • Must weigh over 50 pounds (without being overweight)
  • Must be current on vaccinations and cannot be receiving any medications other than heartworm, flea, and tick preventative
  • Must be on heartworm, flea, and tick preventative year round
  • Must be healthy and without a heart murmur
  • Must be between 1 year and 6 years old when entering our blood donor program
  • Must have never received a blood transfusion
  • Must have never been pregnant

If your pet meets the requirements to become a blood donor, initial blood screening tests will be performed, along with a preliminary physical examination. All of the blood results will be available for your own record. To qualify for this complimentary screening, you must commit your pet to blood donation four to six times per year.

We would love to have you as part of our life-saving team! If you are interested in having your pet donate blood, please contact

What are the benefits of having my pet as a blood donor?

Not only are you and your pet saving another pet’s life, but you will also receive other benefits:

  • A 20-lb bag of adult dog food
  • A complimentary yearly physical examination/office visit
  • Extensive blood screening (with a copy for your records)
  • A 12-month supply of heartworm preventative provided by Merial if your pet donates at least 6 times per year
  • A free blood typing, which means that if your pet ever needs emergency care or a blood transfusion, you’ll know what blood type he or she is!
  • Free blood products should your pet ever become critically ill and require a transfusion
What happens when my dog donates blood?

Blood donation takes about 15-30 minutes, and we often have owners drop off their pet for a few hours while they are donating. For dogs, sedation is rarely (but sometimes) necessary. We lie your dog down on his or her side on comfortable blankets and we clip an area of hair over their jugular vein. After preparing the area with a sterile scrub, blood is collected through a needle into a sterile collection set (just like when you donate blood). Afterwards, your dog is given IV fluids through a separate catheter to replace the one pint of blood that was removed (approximately 450 mls or 16 oz of blood). The catheter is then removed and your pet is given lots of love and attention, along with a toy or treat to go home with.