Every day hundreds of animals need blood transfusions, but there are very few national animal blood banks. With such a severe shortage of blood, many clinics and veterinarians in idaho falls depend on larger emergency hospitals when they need blood.
Similar to human blood types, there are five major canine blood types, and one is a universal donor, which is similar to our “O negative.” When veterinarians purchase blood from a bank, they get the universal blood type, which can be used once on almost any animal without much chance of side effects or adverse reactions.
However, if an animal needs multiple transfusions, the chance of a reaction goes up considerably with each one.
There usually are requirements that the donors must meet. The donor dog must:
- Be healthy and friendly;
- Weigh more than fifty pounds;
- Be between one and seven years old;
- Be current on vaccinations and free of parasites;
- Be free of any medications except for heartworm and/or flea prevention drugs;
- Have a sound heart (no murmur);
- Must have the universal blood type (the bank will type the animal’s blood).
When an animal meets these requirements, blood will be drawn and sent out to a lab to test for infectious diseases, and then the dog will be given a general health profile.
The actual process of donating blood takes about 30 minutes and does not require anesthesia. Blood is taken from the jugular vein, which is the large vein that runs along the neck. Giving blood will not hinder your pet’s normal activities, but you may want to let him or her rest easy that day and provide some extra tender, loving care.
Though few, the drawbacks of donating blood may include a slight swelling at the site where the blood was taken. Also, if your pet is timid and afraid of doctor visits, it might be too stressful.
There is an unimaginable shortage of viable dog blood, which causes many sick or injured dogs to suffer needlessly. Please consider helping us save lives, turning your beloved family member into a true canine hero!
We are holding regular Typing Clinics to examine pets for suitability as a donor. It typically only takes 10 minutes to complete the exam and typing test.
If you’re interested in having your pet become a blood donor, or to find out when our next typing clinic is, please contact our veterinarian in idaho falls either by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (208) 529-3244.