The Blood Bank

Humans aren’t the only ones who need blood in an emergency. Our volunteer teams of dogs and cats donate enough blood for 700+ transfusions every year at our hospital and other clinics. Can your pet help?

 

Could your dog be a Superhero?

While all pets are super, donor qualifications help us keep our Superhero donors healthy during their service. 

  • 1 - 6 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)

Benefits

  • 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 

Become a Superhero

Is your dog interested in becoming a blood donor to help save the lives of other animals? 

Contact Us

Host a Toy Drive!

Every Superhero picks a toy after their donation.

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.