Here at Brentwood Veterinary Hospital, we often use our own pets as blood donors for our patients. Dogs with bleeding masses in their spleens often need a blood transfusion prior to or during surgery to remove their spleens. There are also immune-mediated diseases that can cause a low blood count that requires a blood transfusion to get the patient out of a crisis situation. We have even seen puppies and kittens with so many parasites that they need a blood transfusion to survive.
Donating blood is a relatively simple process for our fur-babies. We collect a unit of blood via a needle inserted into the jugular vein. The worst part for the donor is having to sit still for 5-10 minutes while we collect their blood. Donating blood can have some benefits, usually in the way of a yummy, high-calorie meal. Donors need to be healthy, free of parasites, and relatively young.
These blood donors are true heroes in our eyes!!!
Timber (pictured above) belongs to our Hospital Administrator and has successfully donated blood about twice a year for the last two years. The first picture is of us collecting his blood donation, and the second is his happy face after receiving his yummy reward!