• Toni posted an update in the group Group logo of Ask A VetAsk A Vet 6 years ago

    Can pets donate organs to other pets? For.humans Donor Alliance is an organization and I wonder if something similar exists for pets and animals. Thank you.

    • Hi Toni,
      Yes, pets can be organ or blood donors. Much like in people, there are very specific requirements of health and guidelines to allow for this type of scenario. Organ transplants do take place for our pets, however, this type of medical intervention is beyond the scope of a general practitioner, like myself. I am aware of several specialty centers and university hospitals across the country that perform transplants, however, I don’t know if there is database or group that I could refer you to. If you have a pet that is in need of a transplant, ask your regular DVM to refer you to the appropriate specialty center for further work-up. Or, if you want to know what it takes for your pet to become a donor, you could do the same. I will admit, that likely your pet would only be considered for organ donation when he or she no longer has acceptable quality of life. I am not aware of situations where healthy pets are donating organs during their lifetime for other pets in need.
      I do have experience with blood donation and was responsible for a feline blood bank program in my previous position. It was a joy and an honor to know that the kitties in my program were “life-savers!” In fact, my own personal cat, Toed (a polydactyl), was part of the program and is responsible for saving several kitty’s lives. This type of medical intervention is more routine in our field, and can be something that a healthy pet could potentially become a part of. Again, there are very specific rules and requirements to avoid creating health problems or spreading diseases that must be followed.
      I suggest you speak to your regular DVM if this is something you are interested in further.
      Dr Bobbi

      • Toni replied 6 years ago

        That’s fascinating and great news to know. Thank you Dr. Musgrove.