Known as man’s best friend, dogs have increasingly become part of many people’s lives. Often viewed as more than simply pets, they are companions and valued members of the family.
Then, there are times when dogs will get sick and may need to go to the vet.
However, while dog owners are likely aware of this, they may be unaware that sick dogs may also require blood transfusions.
Much like there are human blood donors, dogs can also become blood donors to help save the lives of their fellow canines.
To do this the dog must meet specific criteria.
For example, in Australia, VIC, the U-Vet Canine Blood Donor Program requires that the dog:
- Weighs 25kg or more.
- Be aged between one and seven years old.
- Be fully vaccinated.
- Be regularly wormed.
- Never have received a blood transfusion itself.
- Has a known history of good health.
- Be of calm temperament.
- Lives in Victoria.
- Has a known travel history
- May donate blood up to four times a year.
It takes about 20-30 minutes for a suitable dog to make a blood donation, with around 450 millilitres typically collected.
Likewise in Australia, NSW, the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) vets place similar requirements on the dogs which can donate blood, except they may be aged from one to eight years old, subject to their breed and size, and must weigh over 15kg.
One dog donating blood has the potential to save the lives of three other dogs.
If it donates four times per year, your dog could potentially save 12 other dogs.
Whether it be those dogs who are sick, injured, need surgery, have become poisoned from eating something they shouldn’t have, or another of the many ways dogs find to get themselves into trouble.
As World Blood Donor Day 2017 is encouraging people to “Give Blood. Give Now. Give Often.” dog owners and their dogs might just consider doing the same.
Dog blood donations may be safely stored for up to four weeks.