Blood Bank

On-site Blood Bank

At Colorado Veterinary Specialists and Animal ER, we understand the importance of having blood products available when needed. Our donors are extensively screened to ensure only healthy dogs and cats participate in our program. Our goal is to provide in-house patients, as well as veterinary hospitals in the Denver area, a reliable source of blood and blood products.

All donors have the following testing performed prior to entry into our program:

  • Complete blood count
  • Blood chemistry profile and electrolytes
  • Heartworm test
  • Complete blood typing for dog erythrocyte antigens
  • Screening for red blood cell borne diseases and tick borne diseases

Blood Bank products and services available include:

  • Fresh frozen plasma (when protein is needed)
  • Packed Red Blood Cells (when just RBCs are needed)
  • Fresh blood

Donors are called in when red blood cells, plasma, platelets and clotting factors are needed.

Blood typing is available for blood recipients (with submission of a purple top tube)

Clotting panel (PT/PTT) evaluation is also available (clotting times).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my dog eligible to be a donor?
  • Must be healthy, friendly, and even tempered
  • Be between the ages of 1-8 years old
  • Weigh more than 50 lbs
  • Current on vaccinations
  • Be on heartworm medication April – October
  • Not on any medications besides nutritional supplements, thyroid medications, or antihistamines
  • Have never received a blood donation
  • Female dogs that have never been pregnant
If my dog is chosen as a blood donor, what will be my responsibilities?
  • Although your dog can safely give blood every 30 to 45 days, a donation is typically given every 60 to 90 days.
Is blood donation risky or painful to my pet? How much blood is donated at one time?
  • Blood donation is not painful to the blood donor. As in human medicine, the most common potential side effect is bruising at the site of collection (the neck area). About a ½ liter of blood is taken at each donation.
Will my dog have to be sedated or restrained to give blood?
  • Light sedation is commonly used on our canine donors. The canine blood donor will be required to lay on their side for the donation and must be able to remain still for approximately 10-15 minutes.
How long does the donation take?
  • Plan to have your dog here for about 1-2 hours. You have the option to drop off or wait for the procedure.
Are there benefits to my pet if they donate?
  • Free annual exam and blood work
  • 20% discount on emergency exam fee at Colorado Veterinary Specialty Group if your pet needs emergency services
  • Free blood product for a transfusion if the donor ever needs a transfusion
  • $75 after 3 donations