Your Pet Can Be A Life Saver – Donate Blood

Blood can save lives.

Our pets may urgently require blood transfusions to treat a variety of medical conditions. E.g. severe trauma, exposure to certain toxins, bone marrow abnormalities or diseases that result in red blood cell destruction secondary to tick fever or an immune-mediated disorder.

Locating a blood donor can be a stressful experience when your pet is struggling to stay alive.

From April 2016, you can enrol your dog or cat in our Mount Pleasant Blood Donor Programme. Blood donors receive:

  • free physical examination and blood tests on donation day
  • gratitude gift of S$100 credited to your clinic account each time your pet donates blood
how do i enrol my dog or cat?

Complete a Blood Donor Application Form at any of our 4 participating clinics. Your details will be entered in our Blood Donor Registry and we will contact you when blood donation is required. For more info, speak with our vets or email comms@mountpleasant.com.sg

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Be a life saver like King!

Be a life saver like Mittens!

SIGN UP AT our participating clinics or email comms@mountpleasant.com.sg

Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Gelenggang)
No 2 Jalan Gelenggang S578187
Tel: 6251 7666

Mount Pleasant Central Vet Clinic (Whitley)
232 Whitley Road S297824
Tel: 6250 8333

Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Clementi)
Blk 105 Clementi St 12 #01-18/20 S120105
Tel: 6776 8858

Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (North)
Blk 151 Serangoon North Ave 2 #01-59 S550151
Tel: 6287 1190

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Sasha the Cocker Spaniel suffered from sudden intestinal tract bleeding & lost a lot of blood. With Packed Cell Volume (PCV) at less than 14%, Sasha needed a blood transfusion. Her blood type is DEA 1.1 Positive.

Besides anaemia, blood transfusion may be required in emergencies such as trauma and severe bleeding,  exposure to poisons, destruction of red blood cells due to immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) or lack of red blood cell production (bone marrow disorder).

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Here comes Woofy the Golden Retriever to donate blood to Sasha! His blood type is also DEA 1.1 Positive. To ensure compatibility, cross matching will be done.

“I love dogs & try to help whenever we can. As long as the process is safe & Woofy is healthy enough to donate blood, just go ahead! His blood can save lives.” ~ Cheryl Goi, Woofy’s guardian. Woofy was Sasha’s first donor.

IS MY DOG AN IDEAL blood donor?
  • Good temperament and health
  • Able to tolerate restraint and venipuncture (collection of blood from vein)
  • 1 to 8 years old
  • Weigh at least 20kg
  • Male or nulliparous (never pregnant) female
  • Up to date on vaccinations
  • On heartworm preventive and tick/flea control
  • No history of receiving blood transfusion
  • Not on any medications that could pose a problem for the recipient
  • There are  2 major canine blood types: positive and negative
is my cat an ideal blood donor?
  • Good temperament and health
  • Able to tolerate restraint  and venipuncture (collection of blood from vein)
  • 1 to 8 years old
  • Weigh at least 5kg
  • Male or nulliparous (never pregnant) female
  • Up to date on vaccinations
  • On tick/flea control
  • No history of receiving blood transfusion
  • Not on any medications that could pose a problem for the recipient
  • There are 3 major feline blood types: A, B and AB
what happens on donation day?
  • Your pet will be examined by a vet.
  • You will sign a Blood Donation Consent Form.
  • A small amount of blood will be collected for pre-donation tests.
  • If abnormalities are detected, you will receive a complimentary consultation. However, the cost of further testing or treatment will remain your responsibility.

Pre-donation tests for blood donors include:

  • Blood Typing
  • Cross Matching
  • Complete Blood Count
  • General Biochemistry Profile
  • Screening for infectious diseases (heartworm, ehrlichiosis, anaplasma for dogs and feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukaemia for cats)
Canine Blood Types

Blood types are determined by the presence or absence of certain antigens on the red blood cells. The canine blood type of most clinical significance is Dog Erythrocyte Antigen (DEA) 1.1.

Dogs that are positive for DEA 1.1 have that antigen on their red blood cells. As a general rule, DEA 1.1 Negative dogs should only receive DEA 1.1 Negative blood. DEA 1.1 Positive dogs may receive either DEA 1.1 Negative or Positive blood. 

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Ref: alvedia.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Ideally, donor and recipient should be type matched & crossed matched. Administering DEA 1.1 Positive red blood cells to a dog that is DEA 1.1 Negative will result in formation of antibodies to the DEA 1.1 antigen. The antibodies may destroy any previously transfused DEA 1.1 Positive red blood cells or cause a potentially life-threatening acute hemolytic transfusion reaction if the patient receives DEA 1.1 Positive red blood cells in future.

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Besides blood typing, Mae Ann performs cross matching to confirm compatibility, especially when the recipient has had a previous transfusion.

Cross Matching

Cross matching determines if there are antibodies in the recipient’s plasma against the red blood cells of the donor. If agglutination occurs (aggregation of red blood cells into clumps), the recipient has antibodies that could destroy the donated red blood cells. The donor’s blood is incompatible and should not be used.

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The donor’s blood must be free of infections & parasites like heartworm & tick fever. General Biochemistry Profile is also done to measure Woofy’s Packed Cell Volume (PCV) & ensure he has normal red cell mass (>37).

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Blood can be collected in unsedated dogs if they are cooperative like Woofy. Very excitable dogs may require light sedation to keep them calm during the process.

blood transfusion process
  • Donors may be sedated for blood collection, depending on temperament.
  • A small area of fur is shaved from the neck. The area will be aseptically cleaned and prepared.
  • Blood is collected via the jugular vein with a sterile needle and single-use collection bag.
  • Up to 450 ml of blood will be collected from dogs and 55 ml of blood from cats.
  • Dogs and cats can donated blood up to a maximum of 4 times a year, i.e. every 3 months.
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Blood typing & cross matching before a transfusion decreases the chance of acute haemolytic transfusion reactions. However, as blood contains many components (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, proteins), the tests do not totally eliminate the chance of immediate or delayed transfusion reactions. Recipients like Sasha are monitored very closely during the transfusion process.

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The first hour is crucial. Valerie measures Sasha’s temperature, blood pressure & respiratory rate regularly to ensure her condition is stable & there is no transfusion reaction.

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The blood is transfused at a slow rate & takes about 4 hours to be completed.

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Allison, with Rusty & Sasha, thanks Woofy for his heroic act!

“I feel very sad when I see another dog who actually needs blood more than Sasha but for selfish reasons, I can’t sacrifice that bag of blood. I thought blood donation is traumatising for the donor dog. But after seeing the process, if I have a big dog, I would make him a regular blood donor.” ~ Allison De Cruz, Sasha’s guardian

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Allison with Sasha, Emmeline with Lance & Dr Samantha Fong, Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Gelenggang). Photo: Straits Times article

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Lance, Sasha’s second hero!

“We teach our family members (dogs included) that “A friend in need, is a friend indeed”. Lance passed the pre-donation tests. It seemed like the right thing to do for him to save a life, and it is wonderful seeing Sasha getting better. Through this experience I see how quick and simple donating blood is. Lance is perfectly fine after donating blood but we were told to take it easy for a day. Let him rest, no strenuous exercise. We agreed as a family that Lance should donate blood more regularly to help other dogs.”~ Emmeline, Lance’s guardian. 

If your dogs or cats meet the requirements, complete a Blood Donor Application Form at our participating clinics. Your details will be entered in our Blood Donor Registry and we will contact you when blood donation is required. For more info, speak with our vets or email comms@mountpleasant.com.sg 


MEET some of our mount pleasant heroes & heroines!
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Lance, Momo & Teffy

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Patches, Prince & Trevor

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Taro, Haro & Daisy

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King, Johnny Cupcake & Zulay

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Xiong Xiong, Buddy & Rocky

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Donna, Waylon & Atom

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Foxy, Skippy & Koko

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Maxi, Duke & Jett

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Spyro & Gerry

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The giants – Bennett, Luke & Tullamore!

cats

Mittens, Tisoy, Starbucks & Baby Elf!

Harry the happy dude who enjoys watching the news!

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