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Blood Bank
"Buddies for Life"

The Canine Blood Bank at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services Saves Lives and Welcomes New Donors

The in-house blood bank at the Oakland Veterinary Referral Services supplies blood products 24 hours a day to patients needing blood transfusions.

Saving Lives

OVRS performs over 400 transfusions each year. Blood components may be used by the Emergency department, Internal Medicine department, Oncology or Surgery. The Buddies for Life Blood Bank products are made possible by people in the community who volunteer their time by bringing their dogs to OVRS to donate blood.

"Thank you for saving my dog Maya's life. When Maya arrived at Oakland Vet Hospital she was in desperate need of a blood transfusion or she would've died, but because of your generosity you saved her life and I am truly grateful for that. Thank you so much for giving Maya another chance at life. You are truly her angel.
Thanks again,
Art, Jenn, Ethan, Emma, Roxy, and Maya"

Canine Blood Bank

The Oakland Veterinary Referral Services maintains an in-house blood bank providing canine blood components to referring veterinarians as needed. Specific component therapy is preferable, avoiding immunologically mediated reactions such as erythrocyte antigen incompatibilities. In addition, blood typing and cross-matching are available to help avoid transfusion reactions.

Packed Red blood Cells (Prbc) is defined as erythrocytes in which plasma and platelets have been removed. Prbcs typically have a HCT 75%-80%.
Indications: Clinically symptomatic anemia
Dosage: 5-10ml/kg. At OVRS, we add a solution that contains sodium chloride, adenine, dextrose, and mannitol to decrease Prbc viscosity, prolong the storage life of red blood cells, and prevent red cell hemolysis.

Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP) is defined as plasma collected and frozen within six hours of draw.
Indications: Source of coagulation factors, albumin, globulins. Factor X, XI deficiency and Prothrombin deficiencies.
Dosage: 6-10ml/kg

Frozen Plasma (FP) is defined as plasma that has been collected and frozen six hours after the draw, or FFP that is greater than one year of age.
Indications: Colloid. Both FFP and FP have appropriate concentrations of vitamin K dependent proteins and albumin.
Dosage: 6-10ml/kg

Cryoprecipitate (Cryo) Cryo is produced by freezing plasma for 24 hours, thawing in a refrigerator for 24 hours, and removing the cryoprecipitate-free plasma. Cryoprecipitate concentrates factor VIII, fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor (vWF), and fibronectin.
Indications: Cryo is used to treat DIC, vWF deficiency, hemophilia A, and generalized sepsis. Fibronectin (plasma opsonic factor) is required to enhance mononuclear phagocytic function.
Dosage: 1 unit/10kg every 12 hours as needed.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is defined as plasma containing concentrated number of platelets.
Indications: Severe thrombocytopenia or platelet dysfunction with active bleeding. The logistics of significantly increasing and maintaining profoundly low platelet counts in an average sized dog with platelet rich plasma should be done with the knowledge that in most cases, platelet transfusions are required every 6 to 8 hours for a minimum of several days.

Canine Blood Drive

Click below to download the donation form and learn more about this opportunity or fill out our online form.

Canine Blood Drive Form (PDF)

Canine Blood Drive Online Form


Blood products are collected on an as needed basis. We have approximately 75 volunteers who donate quarterly, similar to blood drives at the American Red Cross. It is important to ensure the blood bank is well stocked and with an ample supply of blood products.


The Buddies for Life Blood Bank is always looking for new volunteers. Volunteer candidates should be over 50lbs, between 1-8years of age, healthy, happy and friendly. Please contact us at if you are interested in having your dog volunteer.

OVRS veterinarians with pets