When our office hosts a blood drive, I’m quick to sign up because I think donating blood can help save human lives.
But it got me thinking: What about our pets?
Just like humans who experience a trauma or major surgery, pets also require blood transfusions after a devastating accident.
The need for pet blood donations is growing more than ever, according to a recent article in USA Today. Advances in veterinary medicine and pet parents willing to do anything to save their dogs and cats are fueling the demand.
Typically, veterinary practices either rely on in-house donors or an animal blood bank. As there are only a handful of such banks in the US, many practices do not have local options, and the only way to get donations is via overnight mail.
That is why many practices, including Newton Veterinary Hospital in Newton, New Jersey, are opening their own blood bank. This way, blood products are stored onsite and are available at a moment’s notice. In the case of Newton Veterinary Hospital, it is the region’s only pet blood bank for 60 miles.
Practices rely on pet parents to bring in their furry friends to donate blood. While any dog or cat can be tested for eligibility, mild mannered animals tend to be the best donors. The process takes about 10 minutes, and the donation lasts for a month.
Pets that regularly donate can receive special incentives, ranging from free food and veterinary services to a complimentary blood transfusion should the pet ever need it.
Talk to your local veterinary practice for pet blood donation opportunities in your area!