Thank you for your interest in our blood donor program!
Animal ER realizes the entire veterinary community suffers from a shortage of high quality, easily accessible blood products. We established Vancouver Animal Blood Services (VABS) with the hope of helping veterinarians and pet owners alike when the need for blood products arises.
This is a very special program and is a wonderful way for you and your companion to help others in their time of need.
Animal patients who need blood most urgently are those who have suffered trauma such as being hit by a car or those who suffer from a serious medical problem such as a blood disorder (reasons to transfuse). Just like their human counterparts, pets depend upon volunteer blood donors to fill the need in an emergency.
VABB is now banking canine blood only. At Animal ER, we have our own urgent need for more feline donors. If recruitment continues to be successful, we expect to be banking feline blood products in the upcoming months.
Feline donors will be asked to donate when the need arises; however, canine blood donations are scheduled every 3 – 6 months. The donation procedure for cats and dogs consists of taking blood from the jugular vein (a vein in the neck). To make the procedure sterile, a small amount of hair is shaved over the jugular vein and the area is cleansed and sterilized. Blood is collected over 10-15 minutes. A dog can donate 450ml, a cat 50ml. A catheter is place in a vein in the donor’s leg to give intravenous (in the vein) water/electrolyte solution during and after the donation. The extra fluid represents the pet donor equivalent to a human donor "drinking a glass of two of orange juice" after a donation. Cats and some dogs are given sedation ("happy drugs") ahead of time to make the experience a non-stressful one.
A single donation by your dog will have the potential to help save the lives of 4 individual dogs in the Lower Mainland.
How is that done?
The donated blood is spun with a special centrifuge. The spinning of the blood separates the blood into different components; plasma and red blood cells (blood components). The plasma is then separated from the red blood cell bag into two bags. The red blood cells remaining are also separated into two bags. "Magically" one bag has become four bags and has the potential of saving four different dogs' lives.
We are very thankful for the gift you and your pet are giving!
We are very thankful for the gift you and your pet are giving and would like to offer you a gift in return: If ever a pet in your immediate family needs emergency care at Animal ER, the emergency fee will be waived. (Of course we truly hope that your pets never need any emergency care!)
There are other perks for blood donors and their families such as:
- FREE initial health check up and blood work
- FREE annual blood work to assess donor health
- Cute "Pat me I'm a blood donor" bandanna & tag!
- Cookie visit priveleges (drop in when you're in the neighbourhood for a treat)
- The Right Type VABS newsletter (includes coupons for the donor family to use at local businesses)
- After the second donation, we would be happy to implant an AVID identification microchip at no charge. For additional information about the microchip check out the AVID website: www.avidcanada.com
If you are interested in volunteering for this very special program please check the requirements (donor requirements) then contact us by calling (604) 734-5104 during regular business hours or contact us by email
We would like to set up an appointment to meet you and your very special friend. When you come in, a veterinarian will first perform a complete physical exam. If your pet is found to be an appropriate donor, a small amount of blood will be drawn and sent to the laboratory for blood typing and screening panel. Once your pet’s blood type is known and the blood panel reveals a clean bill of health, we will let you know the likelihood of you and your companion being called fo a donation.