Man's best friend, and a blood donor, too
Dogs are giving regularly at veterinary hospitals.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Dogs always have been known as loyal companions to humans. These days, they're increasingly helping each other — by giving their blood.
Rising demand is causing places like the University of Wisconsin-Madison's veterinary teaching hospital to seek more dog and cat blood donors.
Six years ago, they had three donors. Now they have about 22 dogs and cats who give blood regularly.
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Dr. Jonathan Bach, who oversees the hospital's blood bank, says demand has grown along with pet owners' willingness to give a high level of care to their animals.
The donors are sometimes former patients themselves. But most often, they're companions to students or staff members.
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Animals most often need the blood because of anemia, although the hospital does get animals who have suffered injuries or accidental poisonings.
Photo: Gundum, a five-year-old Labrador lies on a surgical table as veterinarians prepare to collect her blood as part of volunteer activities for canine blood donation in 2010./ Sakchai Lalit/AP
My vets here and in AZ all had blood donors, even 25 years ago. When my sweet little Pepper needed a transfusion, she was given Beast Blood. Beast, a big beautiful longhaired cat, was one of two blood donors Dr F kept on hand. They were also the clinic's mascots, had the run of the place, and a loving home. Together they saved many lives.
My dog Lilly was a universal blood donor for 8 years until she aged out. She was never sedated but still usually fell asleep. In the program we were in if the dog showed any sign of stress or was not cooperative they were not accepted into the program. She enjoyed the attention and the baby food she was given afterward for the same reason people are given cookies and juice after their donations.
To crazyhermit dogwoman: If you have never been involved in the program or witnessed the procedure you really don't know what you are talking about.
Liily saved and brought back to health many dogs and was she and I were given a book of those dogs with notes from their owners when she retired. If your dog ever needed a life saving blood transfusion I wonder if you would use blood donated or just let your dog die.
I have read this a few years ago: the fact that we have millions of 2 leggeds who contribut NOTHING...and now cats and dogs whom are euthanized by the millions monthly in the USA are doing so in this case...while the 2 leggeds degradate it all..is a disgusting paradox--similar to Wild Horses & Burros who built our nation being slaughtered barbarically in Texas and even worse iin Mexico via Texans disposing of the older animals they have benefited from.
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I love all pets. I wouldn’t be a veterinarian if I didn’t, and I celebrate the human-animal bond every day. I do look forward, though, to the day when these five breeds aren’t as popular. The reasons vary, but in many cases the problems are health-related, and overbreeding by puppy mills and other less-than-ideal operations has a lot to do with that. What would help these breeds is for there to be a lot less of them. A couple of them need many more adopters and far less breeding, and all would benefit from people who are well-prepared for the challenges of owning a dog, and who make sure to look to rescue, shelters and reputable breeders for their pets. As always, whatever pet you choose, we veterinarians are here to help you make healthy choices for life.
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