Our blood bank service for local vet clinics

Unlike in human medicine, the use of blood products in veterinary medicine has often faced supply issues and was under-used with donors been called in for emergency transfusions – sometimes with it being just too late for the patient that needs the lifesaving blood.

In March 2022 we established our blood bank that is overseen by our Nurse Liaison – Jessica; the aim of our service is to ensure that blood is available for urgent cases of our colleagues in the local veterinary community


How does it work:

We have a growing database of generous, healthy, strong dogs who donate their blood every 6 months. After the careful collection, we type it, test it, label it and store it until it is needed.

The supply of fresh, typed, clean blood is ready to be delivered via our Concierge service to local veterinary clinics who need units of blood for transfusions, traumas, to prepare for risky surgeries or even to boost animals suffering with chronic diseases like cancer and chronic kidney disease who are experiencing a type of lethargy that worsens their quality of life.

What is the cost?

Free, including free delivery to our community’s neighbouring vet clinics

Get involved and have your pet join our donor program!

Not only will your pet be a champion, but if your pet puts their paws up as a lifesaving blood donor they will receive a free blood test (to ensure the body is healthy and the blood is of good quality for our bank), a free bag of premium dog food and lots of cuddles!

What about cats and other pets?

We plan to extend the service to cats and rabbits soon.

Clinics in the Wentworth, Grayndler and Kingsford-Smith LGAs can now contact Southern Cross Vet to request a free emergency delivery of blood.

Other areas will be serviced on a case-by-case basis for delivery, but the clinics are welcome to pick up from Southern Cross Vet.

In the Daily Telegraph:

A canine blood concierge service delivered via refrigerated Jeeps is now available to vets across Wentworth thanks to a generous local clinic and the doggos who put their paws up to donate.

Southern Cross Vet’s Bellevue Hill clinic will be the donation hub for the new service established by owner Sam Kovac.

Dr Kovac, who also owns vets in Surry Hills and St Peters and plans to extend the service to cats and rabbits soon, said with his own patients requiring a transfusion every week or two he realised demand for the life saving blood must be huge.

Clinics in the Wentworth electorate can now contact Southern Cross Vet to request a free emergency delivery of blood and Dr Kovac is looking for more donors to meet the expected increase in demand.

“Greyhounds have the ideal blood as it is the richest in iron, haemoglobin and red blood cells plus they are the only universal blood type, meaning any breed can receive blood from a greyhound,” Dr Kovac said.

“When it comes to donors, it‘s not necessarily true that bigger is better – the best donors are calm, relaxed, gentle dogs who don’t need a sedative, but they must be over 30kg (or 20kg if a greyhound).

“Larger dogs mean we can take more blood and may even be able to donate to multiple patients. But we welcome all dogs. Our favourite old regular was a brown lab called Charlie.”

Dr Kovac said another reason he chose to share the blood is it has a shelf and he didn’t want the precious gift to go to waste.

“Blood in vet hospitals, unlike human hospitals, is always in short supply,” Dr Kovac said.

Dr Sam Kovac is generously sharing the excess blood.

“You cannot plan for when it is needed as often it‘s when a complication happens during surgery, trauma or internal bleeding caused by poisoning.

“I had a case last week where a local dog needed a liver lobotomy (the removal of a liver lobe), and for this surgery to proceed we needed a unit of blood.

“If we didn’t have our blood bank the dog probably would have died without the surgery.

“As well, blood is often underused due to the availability issue, which means dogs recovering from surgery have a longer recovery time as their body is under extra pressure to make blood to restore what was lost.”