Last month my dad had to go through a bypass surgery.His blood group was B negative.It is only present in 1 out of 67 individuals and considered rare. We had to find 6 healthy individuals in Hyderabad willing to donate blood in Hyderabad.
It was a stressful time. Thankfully through a cousin we stumbled across wonderful website http://friends2support.org/ . Here we were able to find willing donors with ease.
However the scenario is much different when it comes to our beloved pets. Like humans, animals frequently need transfusions during surgery yet we don't have sufficient canine blood banks.
Canine donors can make a difference. Scarcity gives rise to opportunity for disreputable practices.
Want to get involved? Here’s what you need to know about pet blood donations.
Does my dog have a blood type?
Yes. Dogs have more than 12 blood groups.
When dogs and cats are evaluated for donor eligibility, their blood is "typed" and classified into one of the following categories:
Universal - Any dog can receive Universal blood
Positive - Only Positive dogs can receive Positive blood
A - Most common, but can only be given to Type A cats
B - More common in pure breed cats… can only be given to Type B cats
AB - Very rare, cannot be used as donors
Your VET should be able to clarify this for you.
More info on canine blood type:
When checking canine blood type, vets will test for DEA (dog erythrocyte antigen) 1.1 negative and positive.
Dogs who present as DEA 1.1 positive are considered universal recipients, while dogs who test negative are considered universal donors.
Negative blood types are more common in breeds such as Dobermans, boxers, German shepherds, greyhounds, Airedale terriers and Weimaraners, and are often in demand.
Dogs with DEA 1.1 Negative blood type can only receive DEA 1 Negative blood whereas dogs with DEA 1.1 Positive can receive either Positive or Negative blood.
Taking into account the health and size of the animal, every blood donation program will have slightly different requirements for its donors.
Most hospitals will do a screening to check for any blood-borne illnesses, and require that a dog is not on any medication (besides heartworm and flea prevention).
To donate blood:
A dog must be above 23kgs
Must be vaccinated
Must not be on any medication
Must be healthy - free of any diseases (like parvo, tick fever etc..)
Dogs can donate blood once in 3 months.
How long does the process take?
Typically, donations will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
Will it hurt my dog?
Anesthesia is NOT needed during the blood donation process. Afterward it will not affect a dog’s energy levels or activities.
"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," says a Pet Blood Bank veterinary supervisor.
As dogs have surgery and other complicated forms of medical treatment, they therefore need blood transfusions. And if dogs have transfusions, other dogs need to donate. Blood is used for many purposes including cases involving trauma, surgery and disease.
Pet parents should take their dogs to donate so that their blood will help other dogs in need. A single donation can help as many dogs.