Animal blood transfusions are a thing.
A desperately needed thing that helps to save the lives of man’s best friends. And your pet could become a real-life superhero in helping a fluffy fellow in need!
We love our pets.
They are bonus family members who provide years of unconditional love, support, and companionship.
Our pets love us.
They celebrate our ups and cuddle us when we’re down, and are always ready for an adventure with their hooman.
They get sick too.
However, when they get sick or injured, a positive outcome may be out of reach if not for blood transfusions.
Our little 4-legged friends are just as susceptible to illness and injury as humans. They get into accidents, need surgeries, get infections and need treatments for all kinds of ailments. And, like humans, our pets in these situations rely on blood donations in order to see another tomorrow. This is where blood and plasma donation programs designed for dogs and cats come into play, and your furry fellow could help!
“Many people do not realize the significant impact their dog [or cat] could make,” said Casey Mills of North American Veterinary Blood Bank in an interview with NBC.
Another parallel that should not come as a surprise is that animals have blood types, just like us. While humans feature 4 main blood types (A, B, AB, and O), cats feature 3 feline-specific types and dogs sport 12! Thankfully, blood types are not breed-specific, and in dogs, the greyhound is known for being a universal donor (think O-negative blood in humans). But, with such a large spectrum of blood types on the table a wide donor pool is needed in order to keep up with demand.
If you are interested in helping your pet become a superhero for another animal in crisis, check with your local veterinarian regarding the requirements and screening process as each state differs in this respect. Currently there are only a smattering of animal blood banks across the United States, making any donation offered of vital importance to the lives of the animals (and their families) impacted. Banks are located in Dixon and Garden Grove, California; Stockbridge, Michigan; Richmond and Bristow, Virginia; and in Annapolis, Maryland. If you live anywhere near these areas and your pet meets the criteria for donation, he or she could become an instant superhero. The process only takes around 30 minutes, and there is no need for anesthesia. Your puppers and/or kitty cat would be A-OK!
Need a little more incentive beyond the contentment in knowing that you and your pet could be helping to save the life of someone’s best friend? Pets that donate are given A-list treatment as well as lots of loves and treats. And, in return for bringing your animal in for donation, you (the owner) are rewarded with discounts on checkups and disease screenings, which are usually a welcome gift considering the sizable cost of veterinary care.
“They’re always so excited when they come in the door to see us because they know we’re going to give them tons of peanut butter or Milk-Bones … whatever their little heart desires,” said Mills in regard to the pets participating in the blood donation program.
There is a real and growing need for life-saving dog and cat blood in emergency and non-emergency veterinary care situations. And, just like with humans, this need can only be met through donations. That said, the more people who know about these programs, the better! Spread the word as far and wide as you can, and help save a life. Losing a pet is devastating for so many people, young and old, and in all manner of situations. If you had the power to help prevent a loss, wouldn’t you use it?
Please reach out to your vet to see how you can help participate in this very unique and meaningful kind of animal rescue. And as always, Be Good.