Humans are not the only ones who can donate blood. Our four-legged fur friends can also save the lives of other pets in need. Let's find out more!
Veterinary hospitals or specialised organisations often collect animal blood to help provide transfusions for animals involved in accidents or who require more complicated types of surgical procedures!
Pets who donate blood
Just like for humans, blood banks exist for pets to help other animals in need. While fewer than those for humans, pet blood banks are an important service for our pets, often run off the charity of donations and the occasional grant.
Pet Blood Bank UK is the only charity of its kind that services all veterinary practitioners across the UK. A big task if you ask us!
The charity provides a national canine service and encourages dog owners to find out if their pooch can become one of many valuable blood donors to help other doggies out.
"Similar to the human blood service, dog owners kindly bring along their much loved canine companions to give blood at one of our many sessions across the country," the website states.
Criteria to donate blood
Much in the same way as the human process, dogs participating in Pet Blood Bank UK's donation sessions must meet a set of criteria in order to become an officially-listed donor.
For example, all donating dogs must be over 25kg, between 1-8 years' old, be fit and healthy, have a good temperament, have never travelled abroad, be vaccinated, and not on any medication.
Marie-Claude Blais, a haematologist and professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of France, notes that pet blood donations are taken very seriously and made with the same precautions as for humans. Blood types are also taken into consideration.
In fact, Pet Blood Bank UK receives only 30% of the DEA 1 Negative strain of blood making it more difficult to meet demand. As such, they encourage owners of breeds more likely to be DEA 1 Negative to register their dog. These include: Dobermanns, Greyhounds, Boxers, German Shepherds, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Airedale Terriers, Weimaraners, Lurchers, American Bulldogs, Pointer (English) and English Bull Terriers.
Groups like Pet Blood Bank UK and other veterinary hospitals often have a list of animal donors they can contact in case of an emergency. However, sometimes more are needed.
If you're interested in learning how your pet can help out, talk to your vet or local animal hospital to see if your fur friend meets the criteria.
Has your pet ever donated blood?