CAN YOUR DOG SAVE A DOG?
Blood donation is very important for people. We can see posters on bus stops, social media, hospitals asking to donate our blood to save other people.
What about dogs? Just like people injured and sick dogs may need blood transfusions. This is a chance for them to have a normal life again. Unfortunately, the dog’s blood donation is not as popular as human and many dogs don’t have a chance to live longer. So why to not help and make a change in this world. Every little drop of blood matter.
DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR DOG BLOOD?
There are more than 12 different types of dog’s blood.
Blood types (or groups) are determined by specific antigens found on the surface of erythrocytes (The major antigens are DEA 1.1 and DEA 1.2.) Dogs can be positive for either (not both) DEA 1.1 or 1.2 or are negative for both. Just like in the human case the blood of the donor needs to be matched to another dog.
If you are interested more in the science site, there are many great articles online which explain this well.
CAN MY DOG BE A DONOR?
Most of the dogs are gratefully accepted, but some breeds have a higher chance of being DEA1 negative. This type of blood is used for all dog blood transfusions, make it especially useful. These breeds are German Shepherds, Lurchers, Dobermans, Weimaraner, Flat Coats Retrievers, Airedale terriers, Greyhounds, Pointers
The average criteria are
- Be over 15kg
- Have all its core vaccinations
- Age 1-8 years old
- Not be on medications
WHERE DO I REGISTER MY DOG AS A DONOR?
You can contact the Pet Blood Bank https://www.petbloodbankuk.org/vet-professionals/faqs/
There is an option to check the nearest location (unfortunately sometimes you need to travel as there are not many points in the UK). The Pet Blood Bank will contact you to arrange everything.
Your dog will be checked (physical examination and health history) by the Vet. They will clip and clean two small areas on your dog’s neck. A small sample of blood will be taken to ensure that the dog is fit to donate.
If your dog passes the initial checks, you will be shown to the donation area where a fully qualified phlebotomist will collect about 450ml of your dog's blood.
After donating, you will be asked to stay at the donation venue for a small amount of time to allow your life saver to have a drink, something to eat and to be observed by our team. Your dog will receive a goody bag which includes an “I’m a Lifesaver” bandana and tag to thank them. They will also get to pick out a toy to take home and we’ll take their picture for our Facebook and Twitter pages!
You are then ready to go home. The dogs should rest for the rest of the day and can go back to their normal routine the following day.
In total, you should allow around 45 minutes for your appointment, although the actual donation process only takes between 5 and 10 minutes.
It is really easy so don’t wait and JUST DO IT.