Donor Criteria (Canine or Feline)
Donors must be less
than 10 years of age:
- up to 10 years of age.
- Canines should be 40+ pounds or greater (at ideal body weight).
- Felines should be 4 pounds or greater.
Donors must be in good systemic health:
- They must be generally healthy and canines ideally should be current on vaccines at least for rabies, distemper, hepatitis, and parvo virus, and felines ideally should be vaccinated only for rabies or no vaccination is preferred. We would like to have documentation of vaccination. If no records are available or donor is not vaccinated, we will perform extra testing using PCR for the vaccine viruses and other transmissible disease agents.We test for transmissible diseases in the same way blood donors are tested. These tests include a CBC and Chemistry Screen as well as PCR tests for Anaplasma, Mycoplasma, Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, Leishmania, Babesia and Bartonella species in canines, and FELV and FIV as well as Mycoplasma and Bartonella species in felines.
- Exclusions: malignancies, septicemia, bacteremia, autoimmune disorders, ingestion of toxic substances, recent exposure to or history of rabies, distemper, or parvovirus, general unexplained lethargy or malaise.
- Note: Animals with acute trauma (including fractures), hip dysplasia, or other bone-involved conditions such as osteochondritis dessicans may be acceptable as bone donors, as long as the condition is not contagious or transmissible. Please call to consult with us.
Logistics and Answers to Commonly Asked Questions:
The owner may bring up their interest in tissue donation or you can bring it up with them if you feel that tissue donation might be an appropriate and helpful option to offer to your client. If their pet appears to be within the criteria described above, we recommend that you give them our donor brochure and information sheet to review. If they are interested in donation, PLEASE have someone call us to discuss the case before promising anything to your client. We would like to be involved with final determination of donor suitability and coordination of the recovery. After this, they can be given 2 copies of the Donor Consent Form to review and sign (one to be left at your clinic for us to have and one for them to keep if they like).
We need to recover tissue grafts within 12 hours of death.
Therefore, we do not necessarily need to be there at the time of death. This means that the owner can be with their pet at that time if they prefer, and we do not need to disturb them or rush them through their grieving.
We do not perform the euthanasia procedure.
This must be performed in your clinic and is part of the interaction between you and your client. When the animal is euthanized, we will need to have you draw a blood sample (2 red top tubes and 2 lavender top tubes) to test for transmissible diseases.
We will normally move the donor to our facility where we have specially designed operating rooms to perform the surgical recovery of the tissue grafts. Although, in some instances it may be possible or preferable to use the operating room facilities at the clinic where the animal is euthanized. In that case, and of course with your permission, we would bring all our own instruments and supplies, and would require use of an operating room for approximately 2 hours.
Typically, we recover the long bones of the limbs, tendons and corneas. Your clients may want to know that it is a surgical procedure, but it is performed only after the heart has stopped beating and there is no pain or suffering for their pet.
After recovery, if the owners wish, we can have the donor privately cremated and the ashes returned (in a nicely finished cedar box, or an urn upon request.) There is no charge to the owners for this. We perform the recovery as soon as possible after asystole within the 12 hour time period, but the cremation process and return of ashes can take up to an additional 1 or 2 weeks.
There is no cost to the owner for choosing donation.
We will cover all costs for tissue recoveries, testing, and cremation. Please call us if you have any questions. We can be reached toll-free at (800) 558-5223.
Thank you for your efforts to assist us and the pets needing transplant grafts.