YYC DOGS HELPING TO SAVE LIVES! – Canadian Animal Blood Bank.
Last week Chai, one of our Co-Chief Operating Dogs, attended Calgary’s first canine blood drive to register as a blood donor. The clinic was put on by the Canadian Animal Blood Bank along with support from Western Veterinary Specialist & Emergency Centre, and dogs from all over the city signed up to share the love and help save lives.
For over 20 years the Canadian Animal Blood Bank has been collecting and storing blood from healthy animals that is later used to transfuse into sick or critically ill animals all across Canada.
For a dog to be considered an ideal donor they need to meet a few requirements:
– Overall healthy and even tempered
– Minimum 50lbs (23kg) but not considered overweight
– Between 1-8 years old
– Up to date with vaccinations, received at least four weeks before donation
The Blood Bank also recommends that donors are spayed or neutered and have received heartworm and tick prevent medication.
Each dog donates one unit of blood which is approximately 450-500mLs, that is then stored at the bank in Winnipeg until a need arises, and can be shipped anywhere within Canada. Some of the reasons a dog may require a blood transfusion include cancer therapy, car accidents, surgical support, ingestion of rat poison, and parvovirus infections.
The entire donation appointment takes about 15 minutes, with the majority of that time spent on paperwork. Throughout the whole appointment, Chai was treated like royalty by all of the staff that were there from both the Animal Blood Bank and Western Veterinary Centre to make sure she was as relaxed and as comfortable as possible.
The appointment started with the technician taking a small blood sample from her front leg that was tested for donor candidacy and blood type.
There are seven different blood types for dogs, and Chai’s blood type came back as a Universal donor.
Once the blood test is approved, the next step is to prepare the dog for the collection. The technicians shave and clean a small section on the dog’s neck which is where the blood is collected from. The dogs experience no pain at all, and the toughest part is having the dog lay still for a few minutes.
Unfortunately due to a recent vaccination, Chai wasn’t a candidate for a donation this time but was registered on the list for future clinics. There were still plenty of other pup’s that showed up and were able to pay it forward to help save a life.
If you would like to know more about their work or stay in the know for any future clinics in Calgary, please visit the Canadian Animal Blood Bank website at www.canadiananimalbloodbank.ca or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.