Dogs that come into our practice suffering from a debilitating illness or sudden traumatic injury occasionally require blood transfusions, just like humans. Unfortunately, blood is not always readily available so we need your help to save lives.
That's where we come in. We are a non-profit organisation based in Watford, Hertfordshire. We are dedicated to saving dogs' lives, and supply a variety of life-saving blood products to veterinary practices in the South East of England.
Our dedicated team of vets and nurses travel to the donor in our specially-designed mobile blood collection vehicle in order to collect blood in the comfort of their familiar environment.
Time is vital when saving lives, so our blood is always readily available, blood typed and screened. The health and welfare of our donors are our utmost priority.
Every donor is health checked by a veterinary surgeon, as well as vaccinated, screened for biochemistry and
haematology. and are all up to date with worming and flea control. To further ensure the donors are safe to donate, they also have to pass our rigorous registration programme.
Our service depends on the generosity of the dogs and their carers, and in return we support them with free medical checks, blood tests, vaccination and anti-parasitic treatment.
In order for your dog to donate blood, they must be:
What's more, if you put your dog forward to become a blood donor, then they will receive £25 off vet fees per donation, as well as a certificate and a bandana!
Your dog's donation could help save the life of another dog in an emergency situation.
After donation, the donor’s blood bags are placed in cold storage and transported to our blood bank in Watford.
Once at the blood bank the collection bags are spun in a centrifuge for 25 minutes to separate the red blood cells and plasma.
The plasma is extracted into a separate bag, weighed and labeled with donor details and reference numbers
The red blood cells are mixed with sag-m, which helps preserve the cells for 42 days. It is then weighed and labelled with donor details and reference numbers.
This allows us to track each bag to each donor dog.
The plasma is placed into the freezer (-18 TO -30.c ) and stored for 12 months as fresh frozen plasma.
If it is defrosted it can be re-frozen within four hours and stored for a further 4 years as frozen plasma.
The red blood cells are refrigerated for up to 42 days (2 – 8 .c)
We await the results of the haematology, biochemistry and blood typing for each donor dog, as well as the culture and sensitivity sample, which is sent one per batch. These results can take up to 7 days.
Once both results are received the blood bags are checked by our lab technician for quality assurance. Once they have been checked they are ready for dispatch.
Any blood that does not pass quality assurance is discarded.