Just like humans, animals require life saving blood transfusions! There are many different avenues to get blood for our canine patient, but we believe the nicest way is a blood donor program. Your dog can give the gift of life to an animal that is sick or injured.
Why do pets need blood transfusions?
- Anaemia(variety of causes)
- Severe haemorrhage (bleeding) post trauma ie hit by a car
- Blood clotting problems, such as rat bait toxicity
- Cancers (ie where the spleen is removed)
- Septic shock
- Kidney or liver failure
- Low blood protein levels
Requirements for blood donors?
Your dog needs to fulfill certain criteria in order to safely donate blood and to ensure all blood products used are of the optimum quality:
- Aged between 1 and 7 years old
- Weigh more than 25kg (the larger breeds are best)
- Must be in a healthy weight range
- Have a great temperament and be able to lay still for 10-15 minutes (some may require a mild sedative)
- Not a jet setter ie never been out of Australia or through quarantine
- Be up to date on all vaccinations (C5), on heartworm prevention (annual vaccination) and intestinal worming at least every three months.
- Be fit and healthy, and pass our physical examination and blood test
- Not be on any medication
- Never have received a blood transfusion
What does blood donation involve?
The pet is admitted into hospital for the day and requires a physical examination and a small blood test to assess your pet’s health status (To make sure your pet isn’t anemic and safe to give blood)
The procedure is very similar to that for people, except some dogs depending on the nature and ability to sit still may require a small amount of sedation. It also differs from human collection in that the jugular vein (the one in the neck) is used rather than the vein in the arm. A patch of hair over this area must be clipped and cleaned (the hair will grow back in a few weeks). The needle, like that used in human collection, is quite big so sometimes local anesthetic is used. Your pet must sit quietly for about 15 minutes while the pack of blood is collected.
How often can a pet give blood?
Blood donors can safely donate every 12 weeks, however we generally will only require one collection per pet per year (depending on demand may be more frequent).
The procedure is very safe, and like the belief with human donation there are benefits to new circulating Red blood cells. The blood cells donated will be replaced by the bone marrow over the next few days. Nevertheless, we recommend that your furry companion be given a few days rest from strenuous exercise after donating blood.
Our way of saying thank you…
We are very grateful to all our donors and in our eyes they are the heros of the animal world who help save other dogs lives. As a thank you will provide complimentary Physical examination on the day of giving blood, blood test on the day of giving blood , FREE annual vaccination and health check ( C5) when your pet is due and a yummy pigs ear and lots and lots of cuddles after giving blood.
How can you help?
If you are interested in your pet helping others and being part of our canine blood bank please contact Brookfield Veterinary clinic on 33741477 and ask for Cath, or email [email protected]