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K-State Today

March 3, 2022

Volunteer canine blood donors needed

Submitted by Brooke Neiberger

Across the country, there is an urgent need for human blood. According to the American Red Cross, this is the worst blood shortage in more than a decade.

Did you know there is also a lack of pet blood donations? Many are unaware that there are even dog donor programs.

The Veterinary Health Center at K-State currently has 15 donors that are dog erythrocyte antigen, or DEA, 1.1. This blood type in dogs is considered to be the universal blood type and can go to any dog in need. We are currently looking to expand our donor program to ensure that every patient in need can be treated.

How can your dog help?

Similar to humans, to be an eligible blood donor dogs must be in good general health. All prospective canine donors must be friendly and calm while being cooperative without their owners present. To donate safely, age and weight restrictions are 1-5 years old and must be more than 55 pounds. Donors must be current on their required vaccinations and be free of any medications other than flea, tick and heartworm preventatives. Females need to have no history of pregnancy, while males must be neutered. Donors would preferably be available for collection once every two months.

Benefits owners receive from enrolling their dog(s) in the volunteer blood donor program include a bag of food after each donation, flea and tick preventatives, heartworm preventatives, yearly vaccinations and yearly blood work.

Please take the time to consider if your dog(s) could be a K-State Veterinary Health Center volunteer blood donor. For more information about the program and how your dog(s) could help save lives, contact vhcblooddonor@vet.k-state.edu.