Sometimes during operations, dogs, just like humans, need blood transfusions. And, as with humans, the only place to get blood for transfusions is from willing donors, dogs whose owners take them along to donation sessions. Blood donation is an invaluable, life-saving gift for many of our patients and we need more blood donors!
One donation can save the lives of up to four dogs, so it’s far more effective than human blood donation. Size is a factor in this: a large dog can comfortably give half a pint of blood, more than enough to help smaller dogs who have less overall blood in them.
The painless donation procedure does have some criteria that donors must meet. Dogs wishing to donate must:
• Be aged between 1-8 years
• Weigh more than 25kgs
• Have never travelled abroad
• Be fully vaccinated
• Be fit and healthy with a good temperament
• Not be on any medications (other than flea and worm treatments)
• Be available for blood typing, at your convenience, prior to donation (if you register for donation you can specify when we are able to contact you for donation)
Cats also occasionally need transfusions but cat blood cannot be stored the same way that human or dog blood can and so blood banks are not an option. Instead, blood has to be transfused to the patient directly from another cat, which can carry risks to the donor. Some veterinary hospitals have donor cats in-house and, in his youth, Clockhouse’s resident cat, Sylvester, was a donor. Others rely on pets being brought in, but it’s important to do some research before putting your cat forward as a donor.
To find out if your cat or dog would make a suitable donor and how to donate, call us on 01453 752 555.