A rise of pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a national shortage of pet blood in Australia, with PetSure data for blood transfusions showing a 27% increase in the volume of treatments in 2022* compared to 2020**.

Just like people, pets who experience a traumatic injury, blood loss during surgery or hemodialysis may require a blood transfusion, and pet owners may not be aware that their pet could be a blood donor.

Anarchy’s emergency blood transfusion

Sydney-based Heather is the proud pet parent to 3-year old Kelpie Anarchy, who happens to be one of the top flyball champions in Australia.

In November 2022, 3-year old Kelpie Anarchy was competing at an agility and flyball competition when her pet parent, Heather, noticed something wasn’t quite right. Anarchy became lethargic, and was refraining from eating and going to the toilet. 

After two days, Heather spotted blood in Anarchy’s urine so she took her to the vet who ran some blood work. When the blood results came back abnormal, Heather rushed Anarchy to the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) where she stayed for ten days in emergency and intensive care. 

Anarchy had fluid built up on her lungs and a low blood count, and needed a blood transfusion – and it was at this point Heather didn’t think Anarchy was going to survive.  

Anarchy was diagnosed with polysystemic immune mediated disease and Heather is incredibly grateful that Anarchy had access to the blood transfusion, and life-saving treatment that helped her get back on track. Anarchy is now back competing in flyball and agility competitions that take her all across Australia. 

Anarchy leaving SASH

Could your pet be a blood donor?

If your pet is healthy, up to date with vaccinations and is of a certain weight, they could be a great candidate to make a blood donation. It’s is a great way to give back and contribute to better pet healthcare outcomes for pets.

The donor criteria are:


  • Up to date with vaccinations, heartworm prevention and worming 
  • Aged between 1-7 years old
  • Weighs at least 23kg
  • Has never received a blood transfusion
  • Has a friendly and obedient demeanour.


  •  Current on annual vaccination (minimum of F3)
  •  Up to date with flea/parasite prevention
  • Weighs at least 4kg lean body weight
  • If male, must be desexed while females need to be spayed with no previous pregnancy
  • No previous blood transfusions
  • Between 1-8 years of age
  • Not on any medications, except for flea/tick preventatives.

If you think your pet could be a good candidate, simply enquire with your nearest vet clinic about making a donation.


* Based on PetSure data between January 2022 to December 2022. 

** Based on PetSure data between January 2020 to December 2020.