Blood Bank

We are always looking for new donor dogs to join our team of life savers.

Animals can donate blood, without any harm to themselves, just as people do. Like humans, animals have different blood groups and test kits are available so that we can test your dog and select the safest donor blood type, which is DEA1.1 negative.

Cat Donors

There is much less demand for blood transfusions for cats. We will usually take blood from the donor cat and immediately transfuse it in to the sick cat. Cats that are donors need to be restricted indoors to prevent accidental transmission of the viral diseases FIV and FeLV which would then be passed on to the recipient.

If you would like your dog to join our Life Savers, please call Rencke 012 991 3573 or email


To be suitable as a blood donor your dog must fulfil the following criteria:

Your dog must please…

Weigh more than 25kg's
Be between 1 and 6 years old, fully vaccinated and dewormed (receiving boosters yearly)
Be healthy
Have a calm temperament
Not have had a blood transfusion previously

All dogs accepted as donors will receive free annual vaccinations and a blood profile to test basic organ health as well as additional discounts on Ultra Dog food, Bravecto Tick and Flea treatments and de-wormer tablets.

Blood transfusions are required for patients that:

  • Are anaemic due to trauma or surgery
  • Are anaemic due to disease such as biliary or other haemolytic anaemias
  • Have a clotting problem due to rat poison toxicity (warfarin) or liver failure
  • Have a critical blood protein loss which needs plasma to increase levels, e.g. puppies with parvovirus diarrhoea (katgriep)

Donors can donate 450 ml of blood (1 unit) for every 25kg of weight.

  • It is safe to take 2 units from dogs over 45 kg.
  • Dogs do not show the light headedness experienced by people after donation, as they have a different blood pressure system.
  • Dogs can safely donate blood every 4 – 6 weeks.
  • Depending on the type of bag that is used for collection, the blood products can be processed into whole blood, packed red blood cells and plasma.
  • The processing of blood allows better utilisation of this very valuable resource.
  • Whole blood can be stored for 4 weeks in a fridge, packed red blood cells for 6 weeks and plasma is frozen within 8 hrs of collection and is stored at -20°C for 12 months.

On the day of donation (4 STEPS)

We will ask that you leave your dog with us for a few hours to allow us do the necessary tests and take the blood.

In some pets a slight sedation is given.

Step One

A small sample of blood will be taken to check the amount of red blood cells and look at the cells to see if they are normal in appearance and number. There will also be a check for parasites, such as babesia.

Step Two

A basic clinical examination will be performed to ensure that the animal is in good health.

Step Three

The donor will be weighed to monitor the amount of weight picked up or lost and the number of units the animal can donate.

Step Four

A small patch will be shaved on the neck area, as the preferred site of collection is the jugular vein. The area must be a surgically cleaned as blood collected must be sterile in order to prevent bacterial growth inside the bag when it is stored.

Thank you to all our Blood Bank Sponsors!

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