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Canine Blood Types | Blood Donation Center

Did you know that pets need blood donors?  Canine blood types are different than those of humans.  IndyVet has its very own Blood Donation Center that ships blood to Indiana and all across the US.  We’ve helped save hundreds of pet lives across the country, thanks to our blood donating heroes.

How Many Canine Blood Types Are There?

Most people don’t realize that there are seven blood types found in dogs and four blood types found in cats.  Those seven blood types found in dogs are DEA 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, DEA 4, DEA 3 and 5, and DEA 7. DEA (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen) is essentially dog red blood cell protein. The most commonly found blood type is DEA 1.1 which means that those dogs may only safely donate to other dogs who have DEA 1.1.

Greyhounds, Boxers, Irish Wolfhounds, German Shepherds, Dobermans, and Pit Bulls are generally DEA 1.1 negative. Breeds more commonly DEA 1.1 positive are Golden Retrievers and Labradors. If your puppy is one of these breeds, it would be a good idea to have your furry wonder’s blood typed.

All dogs possess the DEA 4 red cell protein, but dogs with only the DEA 4 protein are considered universal donors.   A universal donor means that those dogs are able to safely give blood to dogs with different blood types. Up to 75% of Doberman Pinschers have the blood type DEA 4 only. DEA 3 and 5 aren’t commonly found in dog breeds, however around 20% of Greyhounds have DEA 3 and about 30% of Greyhounds have DEA 5.

Blood Donation Programs

We can thank Boston for opening the first ever pet blood donation center in 1989.  While more and more veterinary hospitals have blood donation programs since the 80s, they are still not common.  At IndyVet, we are so proud to have our very own internal blood donation center.

Some teaching hospitals will have colonies of dogs, such as Greyhounds, who receive treats for their donations and eventually are adopted out.  At IndyVet, we do not have a dog colony.  Instead, we enlist healthy pet dogs into our program who receive perks such as stipends and a Blood Donor Rewards Card for their donations.

Blood Donor Rewards

Through the IndyVet program each donor receives a yearly stipend to assist in maintaining the wellness criteria that our donors must uphold. This stipend is made payable to your family veterinarian and is to be used as payment toward required wellness services such as annual physical examination, bloodwork, vaccines, heartworm preventative, and flea and tick preventative.  After six donations, donors will receive a Blood Donor Rewards Card that can be used at IndyVet for any emergency or specialty services.

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