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ACCES Blood Bank
Founded in 2004, the ACCES Blood Bank is committed to providing high-quality blood products to veterinary hospitals across the Western United States. The availability of blood is made possible by the blood bank’s volunteer dog and cat donors who, through their donations, help save hundreds of lives a year.
Pets can require a blood transfusion for many of the same reasons humans do, such as injuries, surgeries, or when diseases cause the body to destroy its own blood cells. The ACCES Blood Bank relies on our invaluable dog and cat donors to help fill this need and, in turn, make the difference in the life of a critically ill or injured pet.
As the pet population grows, the number of dogs and cats requiring blood transfusions increases as well. The need is great. Your pet’s donation can ultimately provide the gift of life.
The ACCES Blood Bank is dedicated to providing a safe and plentiful blood supply to animals in need. Our goals is to ensure that all cats and dogs who present to emergency facilities or family veterinarian practices across the region have access to life-saving blood products.
How it Works
- Prospective blood donors schedule an appointment for a brief veterinary exam at ACCES where a small amount of blood is drawn for typing and testing.
- The blood sample is tested for infectious diseases in accordance with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) consensus statement guidelines for blood donors (at no cost to the owner).
- If blood-screening results show your pet is able to donate, prospective donors return for their first donation and additional blood screening.
- Once approved, the new ACCES Blood Bank donor will be asked to commit to donating once every two to three months for three years.
- At each donation, a brief exam is performed prior to donating.
- For dogs, the entire donation process takes approximately 30 minutes. (This includes time for the exam and for the donor to enjoy their treats and affection from the staff.)
- Cats require a mild anesthetic, so their donation is a drop-off appointment. The donation takes about four hours and you will be notified when your pet is available to be picked-up.
Blood Donor Benefits
- Physical exam by a licensed veterinarian
- Complete annual blood screening (information shared with family veterinarian)
- Active and retired donors are eligible for one free transfusion if needed
- Free toy with each donation
- Plenty of treats and attention at each donation
- Knowing that your pet is saving lives with each donation
Dog and cat donors need to match the following criteria to donate blood:
- Healthy and well-behaved
- Current on vaccines
- One to six years of age
- Dogs at least 55 pounds
- Cats at least 10 pounds
- Never had a transfusion
- Not used for breeding
- Not taking any long-term medication (Flea preventative is okay)
- Cats indoor only
Questions? Please call 206-364-1660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Blood Donation Questions and Answers
Do dogs and cats have different blood types like people?
Dogs have a numbered blood typing system called Dog Erythrocyte Antigen (DEA) system. DEA 1.1 is the main blood type and dogs can be positive or negative. DEA 1.1 Negative is a universal blood type and is safe to be given to any other dog. Cats have three different blood types: A, B, and AB. Type A is the most common with type B found in about 5% of the population. There is no universal blood type for cats.
Is blood donation risky or painful to my pet?
The donation process is quick and painless. The most common potential side effect is bruising at the site of collection, but that goes away within two to three days. The amount of blood taken is not enough to alter your pet’s health. The body replaces red cells taken naturally. Dogs and cats can safely donate every six weeks.
How much blood is drawn at the time of donation?
Each dog donates approximately 450 mls (one pint or two cups) at each donation. Each cat donates 53mls (two ounces) at each donation. For cats, fluids lost during the donation is replaced by administering subcutaneous fluids.
Will my pet need to be sedated or restrained to give blood?
The majority of dogs are able to sit still for the donation with no problem. On rare occasions, an excitable dog may need a light sedation to calm them during their donation. On the other hand, cats do better with a short-acting anesthetic. They are carefully monitored and only asleep during the 10 to 25 minutes needed for the donation process.
Why do dogs and cats need blood transfusions?
Many situations require the use of blood products including trauma, ingestion of poisons or surgical complications. Some animals also have immune problems that can cause them to have low red blood cells or platelets.
What kind of commitment is required?
Due to the high cost of screening prospective donors, your pet is asked to commit to 12 donations. (Donating once every two to three months for three years.)
For more information about referring a client, please see our Referral Instructions.
ACCES Blood Bank pays tribute to our Donor Heroes each quarter with Hero Headlines. To be added to our mailing list, please email Virginia Piper
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