Blood Donor Program

red cross

Donations

 

For additional information
please contact:
Amy Hodnefield, RVT
achally@iastate.edu
Blood Bag

Animal Blood Bank

The Iowa State University Veterinary Medical Center Animal Blood Bank was established in 1998. Donor dogs and cats are owned by students and staff at Iowa State, and local community members.

The blood products are only used for ISU Veterinary Medical Center patients and other pets in the community.

Some instances when our companion animals might require a blood transfusion include:

  • Trauma 
  • Surgery
  • Exposure to rodenticides or other toxins (poisons)
  • Anemia 

Our blood bank provides numerous canine and feline blood products such as:

  • Packed red blood cells
  • Fresh frozen plasma
  • Cryoprecipitate
  • Whole blood

Our donor selection and screening protocols, follow the blood banking guidelines set by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (www.acvim.org-see consensus statements).

Canine blood donor requirements:

A candidate donor must be a healthy dog, preferably neutered, weighing more than 50 lbs., and between the ages of 1-6 years, with no history of serious disease. Some medications will exclude the dog from participating in the blood donor program.  Examples of these would be aspirin, antibiotics, antihistamines, or steroids.  It is preferred that they are also well-socialized and well-mannered.

  • A commitment of a minimum of 2 years is required, including some availability during some times of emergent need; i.e., during the summer months and holidays.
  • Donors must be maintained on monthly heartworm preventative and be current on vaccinations.
  • During the screening process the dog will be blood typed. If the blood type is 1.1 negative, further screening includes in-house complete blood count (CBC), complete serum chemistry, heartworm check, fecal, and a urinalysis.  Additional screening tests for infectious diseases include Brucella canis, Babesia spp., Ehrlichia spp., Mycoplasma, Anaplasma spp., and Bartonella.
  • After a successful screening process, a dog is added to our donor list and donates about once a month.  

Feline Donor IconFeline blood donor requirements:

lounging cat

A candidate donor must be a healthy, friendly feline who is easy to work with, preferably neutered, weighing at least 10 lbs. and between the ages of 1-6 years, with no history of serious disease.  Some medications will exclude the cat from participating in the blood donor program including antibiotics, antihistamines, and steroids. 

  • A commitment of 2 years is required, including some availability during some times of emergent need; i.e., during the summer months and holidays.
  • Donors must be feline leukemia/FIV negative and be current on vaccinations. 
  • During the screening process the cat will be blood typed and also FeLV/FIV tested.  Both type A and B cats are accepted. Following a negative FeLV/FIV test, further screening includes an in-house complete blood count (CBC), complete serum chemistry, and tests for infectious diseases, including Mycoplasma and Bartonella.
  • After a successful screening process, a cat is added to our donor list and required to come in to our hospital to donate no more than once every two months.

Benefits iconBenefits provided to blood donor animals by the VMC           

  • Food (Purina or Hill’s) - Monthly
  • Routine vaccinations - Annually
  • Heartworm testing and preventative - Annually
  • Flea/tick preventatives - Annually
  • Bloodwork, urinalysis and fecal tests as covered in the screening process - Routinely
  • Preventative health examinations by a board-certified clinician - Routinely
  • Your dog or cat becomes a life-saver!