Blood Donor Dogs
Like humans, animals also require blood transfusions due to accidents, surgeries or diseases. And, as it happens to us, sometimes it is more complicated to get donors.
For this reason, in several countries there are already blood banks, both public and private, for dogs and other animals and, from veterinary clinics, owners are encouraged to encourage their pets to donate.
So you already know if your dog can help save the lives of his peers, do not hesitate to make him a regular donor.
What requirements must blood donor dogs meet?
For you can to be a donor, it must meet the following requirements:
- Weigh more than 20 kilograms
- Be between 1 and 8 years old
- Present a good general condition and normal coagulation factors
- Not suffer from communicable diseases through the blood (filariasis, borreliosis, babesiosis, leishmaniosis, brucellosis, and ehrlichiosis)
- Have all vaccinations up to date
- Be dewormed
The procedure is similar to that of humans. About 450 ml of blood is taken from the dog. The process takes between 20 and 40 minutes and can be done every three months.
The animal is placed on a table, usually lying on one of its sides. Then, a small area of your neck is shaved and a needle is inserted to draw blood.
While some dogs may feel weak after donation, most do not have any strange reactions and usually recover much faster than humans.
It is important to know that a single donation can serve to save two lives since blood is separated into two basic components: red blood cells and plasma.
Also, keep in mind that blood can only be transfused from one can to another when they share the same blood group or when the groups are compatible.
Dogs have 8 different blood groups, called erythrocyte antigens (DEA), numbered 1 to 8 and that can be positive and negative. DEA 1 is the “universal”, which means that it is compatible with all groups.
Some dog breeds – such as the Greyhound – have the universal blood type. For this reason, veterinarians consider them perfect donors.
The Labradors are also ideal donors, thanks to their calm character and temperament, which allow the extraction to be carried out without shock and without having to sedate them.
On the other hand, Akita Inu is usually avoided, due to its high concentration of intraeritrocyte potassium.
Benefits for dogs that donate blood
While donating blood in animals is, as, in the case of humans, an altruistic and supportive gesture, to encourage this behavior, in some countries benefits are granted to dogs that provide their blood. Among them are:
- Free consultations
- Complete blood count
- Application of annual vaccines
- Priority in case you need a transfusion
- A can of food as a reward
Keep in mind that donating does not harm your dog. It does not hurt and does not transmit infections or diseases. And stay calm, as soon as the blood is drawn, your body begins to produce more to replace it.
Anyway, if in doubt, you can consult the veterinarian. But if your dog meets the requirements to be a donor, don’t underestimate that option.
Blood needs are sudden and unexpected, so the bank needs to have it always available for emergencies.
That is why it is so important to have a sufficient supply of blood products, to be able to act in emergencies and to carry out transfusions in a safe, fast and efficient way, providing each patient with the most appropriate treatment for their pathology.
Also, since canine blood has a shelf life of approximately 30 to 35 days, supplies must be constantly replenished. And while many animals that reside in canine shelters are used as permanent donors, you must become aware of the need for your dog to also be a regular donor.
This way you will be contributing to saving lives and that is, without a doubt, the best reward for you and your pet.