Blood Bank


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Humans aren’t the only ones who need blood transfusions in emergencies. Veterinarians throughout the Portland area and beyond use DoveLewis blood products for their patients, too. There are more than 125 canine and feline “Superhero” volunteer donors in our program. It’s one of the largest volunteer-based animal blood banks in the Pacific Northwest.

The DoveLewis Blood Bank provides enough blood and plasma every year for more than 600 transfusions for dogs and cats.

Does your dog want to join our Blood Donor Superhero Team?

Click here for a printable brochure.


  • Over one year old, but less than seven years old
  • Weighs at least 55 pounds
  • Current on vaccinations and flea and heartworm control
  • Gentle disposition
  • Has never had a blood transfusion
  • Ability to make a two-year commitment
  • Must donate four times per year (but no more than six)

Free Benefits of Becoming a Blood Donor

  • Examination information, including your dog’s blood type, is entered into the DoveLewis database and shared with your family veterinarian
  • Routine blood work (complete blood analysis and chemistry profile) twice a year, and annual tick and flea-borne disease screening
  • Annual physical exam by veterinarian
  • Complimentary initial exams at DoveLewis in the event of an emergency
  • Blood transfusions for the donor, up to the number donated
  • Discounted heartworm control available for purchase
  • Yearly celebration for blood donors and retirees

How it Works

Your dog’s first appointment lasts 15 minutes, DoveLewis in which your dog will have blood drawn for blood typing, organ function screening and a complete blood cell count. They will also be temperament tested, and the program will be discussed in detail.

If your dog is one of the blood types we use in our hospital and is healthy enough to donate blood safely, future appointments will last about 30 minutes. The actual donation process takes less than 10 minutes, in which your dog will be asked to lay on his or her side on a massage table while our phlebotomist draws blood from their jugular vein. Owners are present during the whole donation, if desired. The rest of the appointment allows our staff to welcome your dog, run a blood test to make sure they can safely donate blood that day, and have their heart listened to by a licensed veterinarian. After donating, your dog will be rewarded with praise, treats and toys. Our blood donors also get a bandana to wear proudly, showing that he or she is what we call all of our blood donors: a “Superhero.”

If this seems like a good fit for you and your dog, please fill out this form and our staff will get back to you promptly to schedule a blood typing appointment.

If this seems like a good fit for you and your dog, please fill out this form and our staff will get back to you promptly to schedule a blood typing appointment.

Superheroes Celebration

We love our Blood Donor Dogs and their families - they save lives! Every year, we hold an appreciation event for our DoveLewis Blood Donor Dogs and their dedicated guardians in April at the Lucky Labrador Brew Pub.

Click here to see pictures from last year’s Superheroes Celebration>

Cat Donors

Cats must be anesthetized in order to give blood, so we don’t ask privately owned cats to become blood donors. All of our blood donor cats live in the homes of DoveLewis staff members or local veterinary professionals. We only use feline blood donors owned by veterinary professionals, because they recognize and understand that, although rare, there are potential risks of sedating animals on a regular basis and the necessity to prevent their cat’s enjoyment of the outdoors in an effort to prevent disease, virus, infection, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the blood bank needed?
All too often, injured or sick animals require blood transfusions as part of their treatment. DoveLewis provides blood products to veterinarians across the Portland Metro area, as well as throughout the state. Our blood bank supplies enough for 600 blood transfusions each year, but even that’s not enough. Without the participation of canine blood donors, animals in need might not be able to receive critical transfusions in time.

Do dogs and cats have different blood types?
Yes. Today, the veterinary community has not only recognized the many different blood groups for canines, but our understanding of what exactly happens to an animal when a transfusion is administered has revolutionized how we can be certain we are providing the right therapy for patients. There are over a dozen blood group systems that have been recognized in dogs; however, only six are clinically significant. These are referred to as dog erythrocyte antigens, with the abbreviation DEA followed by a number. So far, the recognized blood types in dogs are DEA 1:1, 1:2, 3, 4, 5, and 7. Basic blood types include DEA 1:1 negative and DEA 1:1 positive, while complete blood typing reveals if a canine is also positive or negative for the remaining antigens 3-7. DEA negative is the most common blood type; however, only one of the negative types is a true universal and that is DEA 4.  For this reason, DEA 4 is the most beneficial blood type and the main blood type we screen for.  Both positive and negative dogs are still eligible to donate.  However, because positive blood types are not as common, we only need a limited number of positive donors.  Cats on the other hand, have just two basic blood types, type “A” and “B.” Type “A” is much more common; 95% of housecats in America have type “A” blood. A third, type “AB,” is extremely rare.

If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please call to notify our Blood Bank by phone at 971.255.5920, or through email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Blood Bank Program Director
Jill Greene, CVT

Supervising Veterinaria
Ladan Mohammad-Zadeh, DVM, DACVECC