Dog owners can help save other pets’ lives by donating blood.
Not their own blood, but the blood of their dogs.
Just like humans, dogs have blood types and sometimes need transfusions in emergency situations.
Southern Highlands Veterinary Centre vet Dr Sarah Sutherland said other animals could also receive blood donations.
“We give blood to quite a few alpacas, as well as cows and cats,” she said.
“Cats are more reactive and sensitive than dogs, but can receive blood from dogs as well. We actually gave a kitten some blood from a dog a couple of weeks ago, and he turned right around.”
Dr Sutherland said it was most common for dogs to receive blood if they had ingested rat bait or if they were older and had a ruptured tumour.
Gus is one dog who is still around today thanks to a blood donation.
[Apart from dogs], we give blood to quite a few alpacas, as well as cows and catsSouthern Highlands Veterinary Centre Dr Sarah Sutherland
The 13-year-old Moss Vale labrador needed a transfusion after a tumour in his spleen ruptured.
Luckily, 18-month-old Bear was staying with vet nurse Zoe Schuthof and could donate some blood to help a fellow dog-in-need.
Bear’s owner John Batten, who lives in Dapto, said he had no idea dogs could donate blood, but was happy Bear was there to help.
“Bear was a bit drowsy the next day, but after that he was back to an energetic pup,” he said.
“I’d do it again, as it doesn’t really hurt Bear, and if it helps other pets, then why not?”
Dr Sutherland said people who felt their dogs could donate blood were welcome to leave their names at the centre.
“Usually one of our doctors or nurses bring in one of their pets if we need blood, so having a list of healthy dogs and people willing to donate would be very helpful,” she said.
“Any dog that is more than 30kg, preferably desexed, is up-to-date with vaccines, is calm at the vet and is generally healthy can donate. Greyhounds are really good, as they are large and calm.”
Contact your local vet to see if they have a pet blood donation register.