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Off the Leash Off the Leash

Man's best friend, and a blood donor, too

Dogs are giving regularly at veterinary hospitals.

By Associated_Press Apr 19, 2013 8:01PM

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.

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./ Sakchai Lalit/AP 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.

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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

33Comments
Apr 20, 2013 12:15AM
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My sweet cat had an emergency blood transfusion years ago at the age of 6; she live another 13 years.  God Bless them all.
Apr 19, 2013 11:46PM
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My yellow lab was a blood donor for years at Dove Lewis Emergency Pet Hospital in Portland, Oregon.  She contracted parvo as a puppy and they kept her plasma on hand to treat parvo puppies.  She loved going to Dove Lewis.  She would come in, jump up onto the examination table, lay down and impatiently wait for the technician to finish.  She always milked the staff for as many treats as possible and her impatience was fueled by her knowing that she would receive a toy when she was done.  Sometimes she would even try "break into" the toy box when we first arrived.  She passed away last spring at the ripe old age of 13.  I miss her a lot and am glad that we were able to help other families and puppies through her donations. 
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Always grateful for those who donated so my kitty could be treated for anemia.  I am going to see if my cats can donate in return.

Apr 19, 2013 10:50PM
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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.

 

 

Apr 19, 2013 10:50PM
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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.

Apr 19, 2013 10:36PM
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I had a democrat politician friend that got a blood transfusion a couple of years ago from a dog and it didn't hurt him at all the only side effects so far has been that he can't walk by a car without pissing on the tires and all he does at work every day is humps everyones leg 
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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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