As the year comes to an end and Festive Season cheer fills the air, we are often reminded to look past the glitter and fun of the season and focus on what’s really important. It’s a chance for us to gather with our loved ones and celebrate family, friends and, most importantly, life! And this year your furry family can celebrate this precious gift too.
Having your dog donate blood at your local vet means it can potentially save another dog’s life and spare pet parents the heartache of saying good bye way too early. And gifts don’t get much bigger than that.
The gift of life
We all understand the importance of donating blood and how it can be vital for saving lives. Most dogs needing a transfusion will probably have suffered blood loss due to trauma. Some, however, will need a transfusion when suffering from certain life-threatening diseases, like biliary, or tick bite fever. It’s also not uncommon for puppies suffering from severe worm infestations to get a transfusion.
The whole process is more complicated that human transfusions, due to dogs having over 13 different blood groups. Luckily, most of these can be grouped into 5 main blood types. This includes a universal donor, much like our “O negative”, which can be used on all dogs.
For your dog to be able to donate blood it needs to meet certain criteria, the most important being great health. This means it received all the required vaccinations, is between 1-6 years old, and has been treated to all the necessary tick control measures. Your dogs also needs to be at least 26kg to donate the required 450ml of blood.
Dogs who have received transfusions before or have any chronic conditions are not recommended for blood donation.
The donation process
You can take your dog to the vet every 3-4 months to donate blood. A typical donation session will only take about 10-30 minutes and involves blood being drawn from a small shaved patch on the neck. The procedure is virtually painless and most dogs will be happy to receive loads of attention from the technician and some yummy snacks.
Your dog’s body will replace the lost blood, so there is no need to worry. This can take some time, which is why some dogs might be a little sluggish after donation. The good news is that dogs recover much faster from blood donations than humans, which means they’ll be two-tails happy again in no time.
Spread the cheer
Remember, it’s the season for giving and what better gift is there than life? Through blood donation, your dog could become the furry hero that you know they are and spare families the loss of a beloved pet. And what a Festive miracle that could be.