Pet owners who’s pets are being infected by certain diseases or involved in accidents or are loosing blood on surgery and need blood transfusion urgently may have difficulty times finding the right donors. When animal hospital doesn’t have enough or suitable supplies, a suitable donation will have saved a life.
Some countries that have animal blood bank, such as in the UK where they have Pet Blood Bank UK where they invite vet to encourage pet owners to involve in pet donation drive, this kind of awareness may still be lacking in Asia countries. While in Asia there’s animal blood bank of Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand and in Taiwan their first veterinary blood transfusion centre at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology in Pingtung, Southern Taiwan, there’s still other countries that doesn’t have blood bank such as Singapore and Malaysia, where the only hope of finding a donor usually lies with each pet’s owner.
The best source of blood is owners’ pets because they would have more thorough medical records of their pets.
The search for a suitable blood donors can be painstaking, and even fruitless, because people often have the misconception that blood donation is harmful for animals. However, according to vets, there is little risk involved in the process. Sedation is used to prevent the animal from moving too much and becoming stressed during the donation.
Sample of a pet owner urgently looking for suitable donors for his pet in Malaysia
As a lot of people may still not know about the importance dog/cat blood donation and how it can saves many other pet’s life. Hence we need to raise awareness of pets such as dogs or cats fit the criteria to donate. Depending on the weight of the animal, up to 10 per cent of the body weight of the animal is usually drawn. The collection takes 15 to 30 minutes.
- Dogs and cats should not donate blood more than once a month. Vets recommend a rest period of two to six months which varies depending on factors such as the health and size of the animal.
- Donor animals should be between two and eight years old.
- The donor animals have to go through blood tests to ensure they are free of diseases such as heartworm and tick fever.
Potential donor dogs need to:
- be fit and healthy
- be between 1 and 8 years old
- weigh more than 25kg
- have a good temperament
- have never travelled abroad
- be vaccinated and not on any medication
Potential donor cats need to:
- be fit and healthy
- aged between 1 and 8 years (ideally, 1 to 5 years old)
- weigh more than 3.5 kg (but should not be overweight)
- have a good temperament and not stressed prior to visiting the vet
- ideally indoor only cat
- be fully vaccinated and not on any medication
- not already have donated blood in the previous four weeks
Here’s a testimonial from a pet owners whose pets have donated their blood to saves another’s life:
“As a fur-parent, I felt pained to see blood being collected from her jugular for the first time, but I try to put myself in the other owner’s shoes. The first time my dog donated blood, the other owner’s golden retriever had cancer and was deteriorating badly. She was crying so much, it was heart-wrenching.”
“I love dogs and I see myself as part of a network of dog owners who try to help one another. If I ever send out an appeal for help, I hope that someone will respond too.”
If you are interested to donate, do look for your nearest vet to check if they need blood donation and if your pet’s fits the criteria.
Do take note and ask your vet on the preparation needed before and after the procedure.