Giving blood is one of the most important things people can do to help save a life, but did you know blood donors are needed in the animal world as well?
Here are some common questions and answers for Canine and Feline Blood Donors.
Why Do We Have A Blood Donor Program?
Just as in human medicine, there is a regular need in veterinary medicine for donated blood. Pets need transfusions for a variety of reasons, including, blood loss due to trauma, immune-mediated diseases, coagulation disorders from heat stroke, among others.
What Happens During A Donation?
In a quiet, calm area of our hospital, your pet is placed on its side on a table. An assistant holds your pet and soothes them while the unit of blood is collected. The process takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Most dogs tolerate the procedure very well. Cats are usually sedated to donate, as they are less likely to sit patiently during the draw.
Will The Blood Loss Affect My Pet?
Pets recover after a donation as well as, if not more quickly, than humans. Access to plenty of water afterward, a good meal later in the day, and lots of hugs and kisses is all they need!
Are There Any Benefits For Donors?
With each donation given, a credit will be applied to your account, and the accumulated credits can be applied toward any emergency or specialty care your family pets may need. In addition, if your donor pet ever requires a transfusion, the blood product will be provided by Florida Veterinary Specialists at no charge.
In addition, a physical examination will be performed at every donation, and a full health screen (bloodwork) will be run yearly, at no charge.
How Can I Get My Pet Involved?
If your pet fits the criteria, and you are interested in providing “The Gift of Life,” please contact Brenda Fulcher, CVT at 813-933-8944 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment for a physical examination and to collect blood for the initial screening tests (at no cost to you).
To qualify as a donor, your pet must meet the following requirement:
• Be between the ages of 1 and 8 years
• Dogs must weigh at least 50 pounds, and cats at least 10 pounds
• Be neutered or spayed, with no prior pregnancies
• Should have had no prior transfusions
• Be current on vaccinations and heartworm preventative
• Cats must live indoors only
• It is preferable that dogs be well behaved so that sedation is not required