Blood bank operations
A blood bank operates at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, for which new donors are constantly needed. Any pet can encounter a situation where donated blood may save its life.
Feline blood bank

Any cat can suddenly encounter a situation where donated blood may save its life. Cat heroes are needed!

The feline blood bank is focused on helping seriously ill cat patients. Blood donated by volunteers and red cells and plasma prepared from the blood are primarily used for seriously ill or injured patients treated at the intensive care unit.

Cat patients may need blood products due to, for example, blood loss caused by an injury, serious inflammation or a disease resulting in anaemia. Patients undergoing a demanding surgical operation may need a whole blood transfusion or other blood products.

Every cat registered in the blood bank is extremely important to us – and, above all, to our cat patients.

From registration to donation

Once the owner has completed the registration form on behalf of their cat, the cat will be invited for tests on the basis of the information provided. Before the donation, the health of the cat will be thoroughly examined, including the careful testing of the blood. Once we have ascertained that there are no risks to the donor’s health, the donation will be carried out at a later appointment.

The cat heroes must be calm and easy to handle, as we do not want the procedure to cause any stress to the donors. The vein will be accessed in the foreleg of donor cats, preferably with the cat awake.

Contact
elain-veripankki@helsinki.fi  

phone 050 4154896 Friday afternoons

Donating blood

During the donation procedure, the cat is under light anaesthesia. The cat's neck will be shaved and carefully disinfected, and the blood will be collected from the jugular vein. During the procedure, the cat is administered fluids intravenously to substitute for the donated blood.

The anaesthesia is closely controlled to make the donation as safe as possible for the cat hero. After the procedure, recovery from the anaesthesia is monitored in the hospital. Once the hero is awake, it will be given energy-rich food to maintain its blood glucose level.

After receiving the appropriate amount of fluids, and after eating and recovering fully from the anaesthesia, the pet can be taken back home to be pampered.

All cat breeds are accepted as donors, and they need not be registered.

Our heroic cats are rewarded with a Royal Canin lunch and an assortment of Royal Canin samples.

  • Healthy and docile, easy to handle
  • Between 1 and 8 years of age
  • At least 5 kg in weight
  • Housecats (Walking outdoors in a harness and in an outdoor enclosure is allowed.)
  • Vaccinated and eradicated of parasites at regular intervals
  • Residents of Finland 
  • Not a blood transfusion recipient
Canine blood bank

The canine blood bank has been operating at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital since 2000. Its operations are based entirely on the activity of volunteer donors.

The blood bank conducts close cooperation with the intensive care unit. Red cells and plasma prepared from donors’ blood are used for seriously ill or injured patients treated at the intensive care unit.

The most common patient types helped by blood transfusions are dogs that have been in an accident or have ingested rat poison, dogs bitten by a snake and dogs suffering from severe anaemia or a coagulation factor deficiency, as well as puppies weakened by parvovirus.

From registration to donation

Before the donation, dogs registered in the blood bank are invited for blood grouping. At the blood grouping appointment, the health of the dog is examined, and a blood sample is collected for the blood grouping and measurement of the basic blood values.

Any dog can suddenly encounter a situation where donated blood may save its life. Dog heroes are needed!

Dogs have several blood types. The type most in demand in the blood bank is DEA 1.1-negative, needed by emergency room patients. This is why not all dogs whose blood type is DEA 1.1 are invited to donate blood.

Contact

elain-veripankki@helsinki.fi

Phone 050 415 4896 Friday afternoons

Donating blood

The procedure is usually carried out on Friday afternoon. Dogs suited for donating are sent a separate invitation.

During the procedure, the dog is awake. Before the procedure, a blood sample is collected to measure the red blood cell volume fraction, the proteins in the blood and the urea level, one of the two renal values. The blood is taken from the jugular vein. The site is shaved and carefully disinfected.  A blood donation appointment lasts roughly an hour. After donation dog will be given energy-rich food. A blood donation appointment lasts roughly an hour. Dogs can donate blood no more than  four times per year.

Dogs of all breeds can be registered in the blood bank. Dogs need not be entered in the register of the Finnish Kennel Club. 

  • Healthy
  • Between 2 and 7 years of age
  • Over 30 kg in weight
  • Vaccinated and eradicated of parasites at regular intervals
  • Regularly uses protection against tick during the warm season
  • Living in Finland 
  • Not a blood transfusion recipient

DEA (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen) 1.1 is the most important canine blood type for which donor dogs are tested. The blood of DEA 1.1-negative dogs suits all dogs, while that of DEA 1.1-positive dogs only suits other DEA 1.1-positive dogs.

Roughly half of all dogs are DEA 1.1-negative and the rest DEA 1.1-positive.

Blood group­ing and dona­tion dates

We offer our thanks to all of the registered dogs in advance. We are processing registration lists, and you will be contacted. Once we have received your registration, you will be invited to a blood grouping appointment.