START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Cats and Dogs Donate Blood

Cats and Dogs Donate Blood

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.

Canine blood donor basic requirements may vary, but at the University of Pennsylvania for example, they are:

  • 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

At the Angell Animal Medical Center-Boston cat donor requirements are:

  • 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

Related Links

Dogs and Cats Contain Flame Retardants
Dogs are Smarter than Cats, Says Study

 

 

Read more: Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Pets

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

63 comments

+ add your own
5:26AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Abbe, have you ever tried to force a cat to do ANYTHING that the cat didn't want to do? My vet has 3 cats residing in his clinic/hospital. One is a spayed female that showed up at the door very pregnant. When her kittens were old enough to be weaned, he spayed her and kept two of the largest males, neutered them, rehomed the others. The three live there, come and go AT WILL and hunt in the vacant field next door,come back when they feel like it, lounge around on the receptionists desk, and guess what...........all THREE are blood donors when needed, for example, a cat is brought in after being mauled by a dog or whatever. If you saw how big these cats are (mostly Maine Coon), you'd understand that they are not forced to do anything. If they had been, they wouldn't freely walk thru the exam rooms, into the doc's office and behind, thru the treatment and surgery rooms.

4:40AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

just to quibble -- I don't think the donors are volunteers. They have been forced into this, good cause or not.

8:45AM PST on Feb 16, 2012

Sounds AWESOME to me! Very important!

1:05PM PDT on Sep 15, 2011

My dog Simon was my first dog blood donor, then came Chloe. Back 25 or more years ago it was donor connected to recipient . Registerd all my dogs since then.

3:27PM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

Thanks.

1:52PM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

It is a good thing that these animal's parents are willing to help other animals who are in need.

2:21AM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

Didn't want to get cut off.........to further explain the lack of stress on the animal "donating", cats have very good memories. If the 3 cats that my vet uses as "donors" were stressed, do you honestly think they'd return to the clinic (since they can come and go as they please) and willingly be picked up and taken to the back room? No, they'd remember what happened last time and run like HELL! These cats each weighs close to 20 lbs. It would take several people to control them if they protested. They don't. They are actually oblivious to the procedure, and get fed very well "afterwards".

2:18AM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

Sorry, Will, but you're absolutely, positively 180 degrees WRONG! To get bear bile, the bear must die......same with "cat gut". The dogs and cats that "donate" blood are very much alive and must be healthy and robust before any vet will use them as donors. They don't lie "shivering" in fear, nor would any dog be physically capable of "donating" 55 pints of blood. Even the biggest dog on earth doesn't even have that much to begin with! Over a lifetime, a large dog COULD conceivably donate that much, however. My own vet has 3 large cats that live in his clinic, and they are an abandoned stray female and two of her kittens born at the clinic. He spayed her and kept her and two kittens and they are roaming freely inside, go out to hunt and yes, used as blood donors for cats that need blood. I've watched the procedure. They are restrained by a vet tech grasping them by the nape of the neck (same as a Mother cat does when carrying a kitten) and a needle inserted and blood drawn. The entire procedure lasts a couple of minutes. It's done ONLY when a cat comes in that has been mauled by a dog, hit by a car or undergoing surgery and is in desperate NEED. I guess you'd rather your pet die rather than receive "donated" blood?

1:51AM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

My mistake. They did not take blood from a dog 55 times, it was 20 times that the owner volunteered it's dog. Or the owner donated it's dogs blood 20 times! The owner donates it dogs blood while the dog lies shivering and scared.

1:41AM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

To donate something means you had the will to donate, the choice. These dogs are not choosing to give away their blood. Their blood is being taken from them against their will. This is a bit like milking bears for their Bile, or raising cats for catgut! To say that they are donating blood willingly is a lie. Your sentimentality has rotted your brain and now you can't tell the difference between truth and fiction. I got nothing against harvesting blood for other dogs (though 55 pints seem a tad excessive) but we should call it what it is. Blood farming or dog milking, canine bloodsucking anything other than the totally inaccurate term, "Donating".

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I believe they are exposed to too many chemicals. There are chemicals in our air, land, water and fo…

Great rescue. I hope she finds a new home soon.

I have learned this and continue to learn thus more and more over the past year as I have made medit…

....interesting article, especially since I simply love chocolate! Of course, I don't buy it often …

good to know, tank o

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.