In case of an emergency please call 1300 JCU VET (528 838)

General Vet Services

Pet Blood Donation Program

You don’t have to be a vet to save lives, register your pet as a potential blood donor.

Just like humans, pets can suffer from life-threatening illnesses or injuries that could result in them needing a life-saving blood transfusion. JCU Vet is proud to run our very own pet blood donation program to help us to treat other animals suffering trauma, anaemia, clotting problems and many other life-threatening situations.

While our emergency centre is fitted with state-of-the-art technology, our surgeons would not be able to save the lives of these animals without the generous support of our pet donors and their loving families.

Is my pet suitable to be a donor?

To become a canine blood donor, your dog will need to:

  • Be in good health (fit, no known allergies, healthy and not on any medication)
  • Have a good disposition
  • Weighs more than 25kg
  • Be aged between one and seven years’ old
  • Be fully vaccinated and on heartworm and flea/tick preventative treatment
  • Have no history of blood transfusions/plasma transfusions
  • Is not fed raw meat/on a raw meat diet
  • Important for female dogs: Females must not have previously had a litter
  • Has had no contact with feral pigs

To become a feline blood donor, your cat will need to:

  • Be in good health (fit, healthy and not on any medication)
  • Have a good disposition
  • Weigh more than 5kg
  • Be aged between one and seven years’ old
  • Be fully vaccinated and on flea preventative treatment
  • Have no history of blood transfusions/plasma transfusions
  • Important for female cats: Females must not have previously had a litter

Ongoing visits to your veterinarian are essential in maintaining your pet's health. All donors should be participating in a preventative healthcare such as regular wellness exams and an up-to-date vaccination program. Dogs and cats can donate blood up to a maximum of six times per year.

How do I get involved?

If your pet meets the requirements and you are interested in participating in this life-saving program, simply contact our blood bank staff and we will set up a screening appointment for you and your pet.

At the time of the screening, your pet will be given a physical examination by one of our veterinarians. A small amount of blood will then be drawn for laboratory screening, heartworm testing and blood typing. At this time, we will also be assessing your pet's reaction to our staff and hospital environment. It is important that your pet feels at ease with us and the procedure.

Most importantly, we use this screening time to answer all of your questions. We want you to feel confident about the procedure and that our team are taking all necessary precautions. If at any time the process becomes too stressful for you or your pet, we recommend that you do not proceed as a donor. Please feel free to discuss everything with your JCU Vet team, and ask as many questions as you’d like.

The blood donation process

The blood donation process is a simple procedure and only takes approximately ten minutes to complete. Generally, we use a local anaesthetic cream to prevent the discomfort of your pet and many pets do not even realise that they’re donating blood. As far as they are aware, they’re receiving lots of cuddles and attention from our team!

Despite the short procedure, we still like to allow for extra time getting used to the clinic environment, our team members and recovery to rest, get a snack and lie down. We will also place them on IV fluids to replace the volume of blood taken.

Showing our appreciation

Our blood donor heroes will be rewarded with a free bag of Hill's food, donor ID tag, pet bandana. Not to mention lots of treats and special care to thank them for their bravery!

Get in touch

If you think your pet may be a good candidate for the JCU Vet blood donor program, please call our team on 4781 3600 during weekday business hours or email vet@jcu.edu.au.

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