Donors must be in good systemic health. Canines must have been vaccinated at least for: rabies, distemper, hepatitis, and parvo virus. Equines must have been vaccinated at least for rabies and tetanus. Exclusions include malignancies, diabetes, septicemia, bacteremia, autoimmune disorders, ingestion of toxic substances, recent exposure to or history of rabies, distemper, or parvo virus, general unexplained lethargy or malaise.
At the time of euthanasia, blood samples are drawn and tested for evidence of overall health and for transmissible diseases. At the time of tissue recovery blood and tissue samples are also collected and further tested for transmissible diseases using both conventional serologic methods as well as nucleic acid testing (PCR tests). We also archive samples from every donor.
Veterinary Transplant Services puts serious emphasis on donor screening and tissue transplantation safety. We recognize that there are limitations in sensitivities of screening and diagnostic tests and limitations in available medical and social history for animals. Thus, although we screen and test each donor and all tissues, as with transplantation in humans and transfusions in animals, there is always some small risk of disease transmission. Therefore, VTS cannot assume responsibility or liability for the clinical use of the tissue it provides.