6110 Creston Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50321
Phone(515) 280-3100

ISU Student Experience

Canine Blood Bank

The Canine Blood Bank of Central Iowa serves veterinarians throughout Des Moines and surrounding areas with canine blood and blood components that are used to treat ill and injured dogs. The Canine Blood Bank works similar to the human blood bank. Blood is collected from donor dogs and stored until the need to use it arises. Today, many dogs are living happy and healthy lives due to blood donors just like yours!


Why is there a canine blood bank?
Veterinarians throughout Des Moines and surrounding areas depend on the Canine Blood Bank of Central Iowa to provide universal blood all year long.  The demand for canine blood has increased significantly in recent years as veterinary medical technology has advanced.

Can my dog donate?
Potential dog donors must meet these preliminary standards:

  • In good health
  • 50 pounds or more
  • 2 to 4 years old (can donate until they are 8 years of age)
  • Gentle and calm disposition

What happens at the first visit?
Blood type will have to be established and usually takes about ten minutes after the initial blood draw. Universal donor for dogs is A-. If the dog is A- and you, the owner, agree to have your dog donate blood every 8 to 12 weeks, we will perform a comprehensive physical examination and further blood tests at no cost. A complete physical is performed, a blood sample is collected and current vaccination history, deworming and heartworm preventative is verified. The other biochemistry results performed to confirm normal kidney, liver and endocrine function, heartworm should be available in 3 to 5 days. A report is sent to your family veterinarian to update your dog's medical records.

What is involved in collecting blood from my dog?
Your dog will need to be fasted overnight. This means that your dog must not eat anything after midnight the night before donation. Water may be provided. We recommend that you drop off your dog in the morning and pick up after Noon.  We will perform a physical exam, take a blood sample (to ensure your dog is not anemic) and perform a CBC.  Lab results are available in approximately ten minutes.  Blood Collection procedures are done in a sterile manner. This involves clipping some hair from the neck and disinfecting the area with antiseptic. The dog will need to lie quietly while the needle is inserted and blood fills the blood pack. This may take about ten minutes. Approximately 450 ml's of blood is collected and your dog is observed for a few minutes to ensure that there is no bleeding from the venipuncture site.  Fluids will be given to replace the volume taken.

Are there any adverse affects of blood donation for my dog?
Blood donation is a very safe procedure. Large dogs can readily donate up to 450 ml of blood every 8 to 12 weeks. Rest for a few days after donation is always recommended.

What is done with the blood once it is collected?
Whole blood is primarily utilized and refrigerated. Some blood collected from your dog is spun down to separate the plasma from the cells. The blood components are then stored in the freezer until required. These cells are used to treat a variety of blood disorders; hemophilia, accidental poisoning with rat/mouse bait and hemorrhaging from trauma.

What else can I expect?

  • CBC performed prior to each donation.
  • Annual Complete Physical Exam
  • Annual Blood Chemistry Panel
  • Annual Heartworm Screening
  • Urinalysis and Fecal Performed In-House Annually
  • Blood Donor Profile with Variety of Blood and Tick Borne Diseases
  • If the need arises, donor dog will qualify for complimentary blood products equal to the number of products they donated



Where does my dog donate?
Donators are received at Iowa Veterinary Specialties: 6110 Creston Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. The intersection is north of Park Avenue off 63rd Street and east (right) on Creston, or south of Valley Junction, first east (left) turn after the Raccoon River bridge. These donations are by appointment only. Please call the office at 515-280-3051 and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Can you tell me about your doggy donor heroes?
Please check out the photos and biographies of our doggy donor heroes below.

How do I find out more? Please call 515-280-3051.
Someone will get back to you as soon as possible about
our volunteer canine blood donation program.

Canine Blood Bank Donors


24 units

Brutus is a talkative and outgoing black lab. He loves everyone and especially loves coming in to give blood as a donor for our Canine Blood Bank.


24 units

Jake is a high-energy border collie who enjoys running! His other favorite thing to do is hold a toy in his mouth and sit in his backyard waiting for the other dogs to try and take it.


24 units

Patience is a 5 year old American Bulldog mix who was left in a parking lot as a puppy. She was found by her now owner, Jamie. She has been a blood donor for 2 years and has saved 10 lives! Patience enjoys ripping the stuffing out of her toys and going to doggie day care.


18 units

Kyra is a super sweet pit bull who is an ambassador for her breed. In addition to being a blood donor, she also goes into schools and kids get to practice their reading skills by reading to her.


15 units

Wilson is a border collie who is always full of energy! He loves to run around and get dirty!


12 units

Bella is an incredibly sweet golden retriever. She is always very calm. Her favorite thing to do is cuddle and we are happy to oblige her.


6 units

Zane is a sweet and rambunctious American Bulldog who is all white except for his brindle tail!


3 units

Monday is a 3 year old pit bull who was brought into IVS to see if she could be a blood donor for our Canine Blood Bank. The blood typing test showed that she has a negative blood type and is able to be a donor! Monday was rescued from an abandoned apartment and taken to the Chicago Bully Breed Rescue. She was adopted from there by her owner, Erin, in 2009. Monday has now earned her Canine Good Citizen certification and enjoys going to obedience class. She loves to be spoiled by the IVS staff and likes to sit on the chairs in the doctors' work station.


3 units

Silas is a 2 year old, 148 pound, Labrador and mastiff mix. He's incredibly sweet and tries to sit on laps which doesn't work so well.

Canine Blood Bank

"All the Vet techs and receptionists were nothing but phenomenal and soooo understanding!"

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