Animal Blood Bank Elversberg

Frequently, in emergency medicine we need blood products for our patients.

We rely on reserves of red blood cells or blood plasma to treat anaemia caused by tick bites, for example, but also in the treatment of critically ill dogs with imminent organ failure, or severe blood loss after car accidents and in major surgery.

In such cases, we as the attending veterinarians, need quick access to the appropriate erythrocyte and plasma products.
A blood bank, such as that in the field of human medicine, does not exist for animals, therefore we ourselves have to keep in stock the necessary blood products for the animals we treat.

We would be delighted if you were to register your dog as a donor and save other dogs’ lives.

Blood groups in dogs
Dogs have different blood types just like people. In dogs, there are many different blood groups, but only of importance in terms of transfusion are DEA 1.1 (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen) positive animals.

Fast supply through our own Animal Blood Bank
For the best possible care for dogs the Tierklinik Elversberg has set up its own blood bank. Our laboratory is equipped to use haematological studies to ascertain the most appropriate blood product in our blood bank, even during an emergency at night.

Erythrocyte concentrates (concentrated red blood cells) and fresh frozen dog plasma are usually always in stock.

The highly efficient filtration of packed red blood cells and plasma, as well as the prescribed cooling and freezing facilities allow for the preparation and storage of the necessary amount of blood products.

Production of blood products at the animal blood bank Elversberg
The production of blood products is performed using a 3-fold blood bag system with an integrated filter; whereby the whole blood is separated into its components- plasma and red cells.

The blood is donated directly into the primary bag. Afterwards the separation is begun simply by hanging the bag system on a special IV pole- without the use of centrifuges or separation devices.

This provides us with blood components in accordance with the European guide to the preparation, use and quality assurance of blood components.

Erythrocyte concentrates for dogs are kept for the upcoming transfusion at 4 ° C for a maximum of 35 days. Plasma is frozen and then keeps for at least 2 years at -28 ° C.

Your dog as a blood donor

Which dogs are allowed to donate?

  • quiet, easily manageable dogs
  • weigh over 25 kg
  • between 1 and 8 years of age
  • regularly vaccinated and dewormed
  • Donor animals should have never received a blood transfusion themselves
  • no previous international travel
  • Females should not have been pregnant
  • Dogs that appear healthy after the preliminary intensive and very expensive examination (free for the pet owner) in accordance with the guidelines for handling blood and blood products

How often should my dog donate?
If accepted as a donor animal of the blood bank Elversberg, there must be the willingness to donate at least twice a year, since the preliminary studies for inclusion in the donor register are very expensive (free for the pet owner). A maximum of four blood donations are possible annually.

How much blood must my dog donate?
A donation of approximately 400 ml of whole blood is sought.

From where is the blood collected?
As a rule, the blood is taken from the jugular vein, in very large dogs also from the leg vein.

What symptoms should I look for on the day of donation?
On the day of donation there should no obvious disease symptoms such as fatigue, diarrhea or vomiting. In addition, for the safety of your dog, a complete blood count will be done.

What do I gain from allowing my dog to donate to the animal blood bank Elversberg?

  • The good feeling of saving dogs’ lives
  • Regular and free general check-up and blood test with organ profiles when blood is donated
  • A free tick treatment for at the end of each year in which your dog has donated blood at least twice
  • Especially diligent donors will be rewarded

Where can I register my dog as a blood donor?
Please contact us, by calling 06821 179494 or by email to We will then discuss the next steps with you in person.

As a basis for our blood bank, we use the guidelines for the recovery, storage, transportation and administration of blood and blood products used in veterinary medicine from the Federal Office for consumer protection and food safety.


Rescue-dogs rescue dogs

Three dogs of the do rescue unit in Quierschied, Agatha, Cira and Zeus were thrilled to follow the call of the veterinary clinic Elversberg to take part in their blood donating program. On Monday, the 13th December, the three dogs had a joined appointment for the preliminary examination. The dogs’ excellent behavior was rewarded with some treats while the owners were informed about the necessity and demand for animal blood donations.

Monika Rieger, the leading consultant was explaining the procedure and educating the owners thoroughly. Blood donations can save lives. In the emergency medicine, Veterinarians and Clinics frequently require blood reserves for the four-legged patients. The emergencies range from blood loss after accidents or injuries to severe internal diseases like anemias following tick bite fever. In order to help the animals quickly and adequately, red blood cell and blood plasma reserves are stored in the blood bank of the veterinary clinic Elversberg.

After collecting data and a detailed anamnesis of the dogs, blood was taken and thereby their health status could be evaluated. This preliminary study is complex and expensive (however free for blood donating participants) but necessary and urgent since not every dog is suitable as a blood donor animal. The ideal blood donor should be between 1-8 years, free from diseases and weigh more than 25kgs. Furthermore, because of the possible transmission of diseases, the animal should not have received a blood transfusion before nor should it have stayed abroad. Regular vaccinations and deworming is a pre-requisite. Similarly, prophylactic treatment against ticks is required as carriers of Babesia and/or Anaplasma are excluded from the program.

Agatha, Cira and Zeus were found to be healthy, free from infectious diseases and with a coveted blood group. They proved to be very relaxed and patient throughout all the examination and procedure. Patience is of great importance as, contrary to the opinion of many owners, the dogs are not sedated for the procedure of blood donation.

Blood donation for dogs can save a dog's life. Anyone who ever had a dog as a loyal companion, knows of the importance of its life. The three dogs from the dog rescue unit are set as a good example and are recorded in the blood donor register of the veterinary clinic in Elversberg. For expert advice on the subject of blood donation and for registration please contact the team of the blood bank in Elversberg: Phone 06821/179494 or send an email to available.

Article and Images:

Specialist Contact Person

Lea Neumann

Monika Rieger

© Tierklinik Elversberg 2021 | Images: Tierklinik Elversberg, shutterstock