Blood Donor Program

Welcome to Olympia Veterinary Specialists

Blood Donor Program!

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Just like with humans, blood transfusions can be the difference between life and death for critically ill or injured patients. Sometimes the additional blood support is enough to get them enough time to heal and recover. Sometimes, it is what gives critically ill patients a quality of life to spend more time with their family. Whatever the use, blood donor pets are literal life-saving heroes.

Both canine and feline blood donor candidates must be healthy with no pre-existing conditions. Unlike human blood donors, the size of a patient can also affect whether they are a good donor or not. Like human donors, a pet donor’s blood type also affects their eligibility at different times.

We take donations for two purposes. To collect whole blood and process the blood into other blood products.

Whole Blood

Whole blood can only be stored 4-weeks. The sooner it is used the better and for that reason, these donations usually happen on an emergency callin basis. When a pet with a critical need is identified, a donor with an appropriate blood type is called in to make an emergency blood donation. That whole blood is then given to the patient in a blood transfusion to give them a fighting chance.

Processed Blood Products

Donations to collect blood for processing are routine donations. This means a blood donor comes in every 2-3 months. The blood collected from these donations is used to create Packed Red Blood Cells (pRBC) and Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP). These products can be held in stock for patients when the need arises.

Whatever type of donation a Pet Blood Donor makes, the contribution can make a difference in a pet’s life and the lives of everyone who loves that pet.

Please consider if your pet might be a good blood donor candidate.



The initial screening tests are performed to determine if the pet is a good fit for the Blood Donor program. These screening tests are provided courtesy of OVS Emergency Department. Behavior when handling the pet will also be taken into account when selecting donors.

All diagnostic results will be evaluated by a veterinarian to determine if a pet is healthy enough to join the Blood Donor Program. All other factors will be taken into consideration by the Blood Bank Coordinator and administration. Pets who are accepted into the Blood Donor Program will be scheduled to donate blood every 12 weeks and committed to 12 donations (3 years) prior to retirement.


  • Between the ages of 1 & 8 years old
  • Weigh at least 25 kg (55 lbs) & ideally not obese
  • No current medications other than monthly preventatives
  • Current on vaccinations


  • Between the ages of 1 & 8 years old
  • Weigh at least 4 kg (8.8 lbs) & ideally not obese
  • Indoor only pet
  • No current medications except monthly preventatives
  • Current on vaccinations
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