With the growing need of blood transfusion among dogs, blood banks are steadily increasing. Earlier, owners were not fully aware of the necessity of blood donation, but with a spurt in canine diseases, they are slowly taking stock of the situation. A number of blood bank programs are also being initiated to support the need to supply life saving blood components. But now, the most pertinent question here is who is a prospective donor? Also, do you know what are the precautions one must take before taking his/her pet to a donation camp?
Only a healthy vaccinated dog is eligible for blood donation. However, before the donation process gets underway the dog has to undergo a comprehensive physical examination, including a complete blood count and blood chemistry profile. He would be tested for other possible conditions like Brucellosis, Rocky Mountain, Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, and several other ailments. A dog who has received blood transfusion earlier is not eligible for donation. A potential donor also cannot be under any medication and should be protected against heartworm diseases.
There are basically 2 types of programs — “Full Pints Program” and also “Half-Pints Program”. To be able to qualify for the full-pint program, a dog must be at least 1 year old and weigh 50 pounds or more. But for half-pint programs, donors must be at least 1 year old and weigh 35 pounds or more. The potential donor must be a nice, easy going dog with a universal blood group.
The process of blood donation, however, is rather simple. The donor is placed on an elevated platform and blood is extracted from a large vein from the neck. It is not carried out under anesthesia and takes about half an hour. After the process is accomplished the dog is treated to a nutritious meal and given water.