A veterinary clinic in southwest Calgary is preparing to host its first canine blood drive.
Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre will be taking doggie donations from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday on behalf of the Canadian Animal Blood Bank.
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“Being that we are an emergency hospital, we do quite a few transfusions a week,” client care supervisor Melinda Hearn said. “Reasons a dog would need a blood transfusion would be if they were anemic, if they got into a toxin, surgical support and different cancer therapies or even blunt force trauma.”
According to Hearn, the process for dog donations is very similar to the human experience.
“The biggest difference would be that we do have to restrain the animal…. we insert the needle into the jugular vein, and then there are no machines or anything, we just let gravity do its thing.”
Hearn said the process to collect one pint of blood takes less than five minutes.
“We spoil them afterwards, they get lots of treats and cookies just to make sure they know that they did a good job.”
The clinic was hoping to get donations from 20 dogs on Sunday. By Friday, they had exceeded that goal by two dogs.
“We are full, however, due to the overwhelming response that we got, we’re actually excited to announce that we’ll be holding more regular blood drives.”
Requirements to be a donor include:
Dogs must be between one and eight years oldMinimum weight of 50 poundsEven temperamentUp to date on vaccines
Blood collected will be sent to the Canadian Animal Blood Bank in Winnipeg to be distributed to dogs in need.