Pet Blood Banks Need More Donors to Save More Animal Lives
Thu, April 22, 2021

Pet Blood Banks Need More Donors to Save More Animal Lives

Pets are not exempted from injury or illness. Pets getting sick or hurt in an accident can be a nightmare for their owners, especially if a procedure needs to be done to save their lives / Photo by: Igor Daniel via 123RF

 

We are living in an imperfect world and every creature that walks on this planet is vulnerable to sickness or injury that can happen at any minute. Humans are lucky enough to have hospitals and doctors to tend to their conditions, but most animals, on the other hand, are not so lucky since a lot of people think that it is a waste of time and money to have their injury or illness cured especially if they are strays or wild.

However, once a person adopts an animal and it becomes a pet in the family, it is their responsibility to make sure that they get all the care that they deserve. 

Pets are not exempted from injury or illness. Pets getting sick or hurt in an accident can be a nightmare for their owners, especially if a procedure needs to be done to save their lives. Responsible owners will do everything to nurse them back to health and to keep them alive.

There are cases where pets might need a blood transfusion, which posed a crucial problem before because there were no institutions then that would cater to such a need. A blood bank for pets was simply unheard of before, and so a lot of sick animals who had anemia or lost a lot of blood during surgery simply died.

Luckily, that was then. Today, there are blood banks that are available for our pets’ needs and these institutions are encouraging owners of healthy pets to donate their blood in order to save others.

 

Pets Donating Blood

Blood transfusion in pets can take about 10 to 30 minutes, according to a report by Dogington Post, the internet newspaper that publishes articles about dogs. Requirements for donors vary, especially for canines. A dog donor must have a healthy weight (35 pounds or more), and they should be between the ages of 9 months and 9 years old. 

For cats, donors should weigh over 8 pounds since 20 percent of their blood is usually taken in a donation. ABC News, the news division of the American Broadcasting Company, reported that it is also important for the donor pet to calm when the procedure is ongoing. Since cats are easily stressed out by their environment, they are anesthetized when donating blood. 

The process of donating blood in pets are similar to how it happens in humans. Before allowing them to donate, pets must pass a screening test that will ensure that they are healthy and capable of lending their blood to others. BBC, a British public service broadcaster, explained on their website that a small blood sample from the dog’s cephalic vein, which is located in their leg, or from the jugular vein is taken. 

Shaving a small patch of their fur is a standard procedure for needle insertion. However, the vein might also be located immediately without a need to clip the fur, so the procedure takes place at once. Don’t worry, most pets don’t feel the needle searing through their flesh. “It is not a painful procedure, which is confirmed by lots of our repeat donors—many of whom have donated for a few years—bounding through the session doors to see us with their tails wagging,” said Jenny Walton, a pet blood bank veterinary supervisor. 

Once the blood is drawn, the pet’s body will start to produce more to replace what it lost. Blood donors will be given water and yummy treats right after the procedure. There’s a chance that your pet shows sluggishness or weakness right after but it’s a normal reaction for most animal donors. 

Requirements for donors vary, especially for canines. A dog donor must have a healthy weight (35 pounds or more), and they should be between the ages of 9 months and 9 years old / Photo by: Parinya Binsuk via 123RF

 

Importance of Pet Blood Banks

Animal blood banks are now calling for more new donors that are willing to be a lifesaver for other pets. Blood banks are essential in helping pets to survive a complicated operation. Without them, donor animals need to be called into the clinic in an emergency and give blood onsite. 

Kerry Bozicevic, a blood donor program coordinator and nurse at the U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital in Australia, said that having blood stored in the clinic is much more helpful in saving lives. “If you have a trauma case that’s come in and it needs blood now, we have it available,” Bozicevic said. She added that it can also help in reducing the time of surgery by hours, thus increasing the survival rate for the pet. 

 “Thousands of lives have been saved, thanks to the generosity of pet owners and their animals, but blood supply is failing to keep up with demand and lives could be tragically lost as a result,” said Harvey Locke, a pet blood bank trustee and past president of the British Veterinary Association in an interview with The Sun, a website that publishes articles about politics, tech, and pet issues. 

Donations from feline friends are much more needed since there is a considerable shortage of donors. Interestingly, cats can receive dog blood as a last resort if feline blood is unavailable. 

The Royal Veterinary College carried out 600 dog- and 80 cat-blood transfusions in the previous year.

Animal blood banks are now calling for more new donors that are willing to be a lifesaver for other pets. Blood banks are essential in helping pets to survive a complicated operation / Photo by: belchonock via 123RF