Maybe you already knew this, and it stands to reason it is a normal practice, but I didn’t know how important animal blood donations are until recently.
Every day cats and dogs need blood transfusions for medical procedures. A two-year old English mastiff donated blood twenty times in Illinois. Some of its blood was used in an emergency situation to save the life of a dog that had eaten rat poison. Dogs sometimes eat rat bait that contains warfarin, an anticoagulant causing huge loss of blood. The mastiff was donating about once a month.
In Scotland some police dogs are used to donate blood for dogs that will need it in a serious medical situation, “Unless you have or work with dogs you do not think about them needing blood transfusions and take for granted, sometimes like humans, that blood will be available.” (Source: BBC)
According to one source, dog blood can be preserved for about 35 days. Dog plasma can be frozen and stored successfully for about five years.
- 55 pounds or more, but not greater than 150 pounds
- older than one year
- calm temperament
- not on medication
- never diagnosed with certain disease like heartworm
or heart murmur
- weigh at least nine pounds
- over one year old and less than nine
- on all vaccines
- no major medical issues
- not on any medications
A cat recently was recognized as a hero for donating blood regularly. A vet technician said each donation can save four lives.
Image Credit: ohnoitsjamie