IndyVet Emergency & Specialty Hospital (IndyVet), central Indiana’s original 24-hour emergency and critical care veterinary center, will host a canine blood donor drive for central Indiana dog owners from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 22 at its facility right off I-465 and Emerson Avenue on Indianapolis’ southeast side.
For many medical conditions and procedures a transfusion is a clinical necessity, without animal blood donors, veterinarians could not undertake important and often life-saving treatments. The IndyVet donor program was created to not only benefit the thousands of pets that receive blood transfusions every year, but to also benefit the blood donor heroes.
Through the IndyVet donor program, each donor receives a stipend to assist in maintaining the wellness criteria that donor donors must uphold. This stipend can be to pay for wellness services such as annual physical examinations, blood work, vaccines, heartworm prevention, and flea and tick prevention at their regular veterinarian. Participants in the program also receive donor rewards cards to use at IndyVet for any service (emergency, internal medicine, surgery, and/or ophthalmology.)
“There is a severe shortage in blood, especially with dogs,” said Dr. Jim Speiser, owner and founder of IndyVet. “But unfortunately, some people don’t realize the need until their own dog is on the receiving end.”
Dr. Speiser also states the blood drive is to help raise awareness and add much needed donors to the program. With the help of the community and the donor heroes, IndyVet is able to supply blood products not only to themselves but also to other animal hospitals throughout the United States. These donor heroes provide immediate plasma and blood supply for sick animals suffering from anemia, poisonings or other life-threatening emergencies that require surgery.
Dogs who meet the requirements need to be between 1 and 8 years old, weigh at least 35 pounds, be current on heartworm preventative and vaccines, and should not have received a blood transfusion before.
For those that meet the criteria, dog owners can sign their dog up for a blood screening on April 22 by filling out a pre-registration form here. Screenings will be scheduled first-come, first-served in advance only for April 22. The IndyVet Blood Donation Center will be running their drive through the IndyVet Pet Carnival in July and appointments for screening can be made for any day.
Certain dog breeds like bull dogs, greyhounds and pit bulls have a higher percentage of being universal donors, which means their blood can be used on almost any dog of any blood type without much of a chance for side effects or adverse reactions; however, any dog could be universal.
IndyVet requests that only dogs with confirmed reservations for the event accompany pet parents. Indoor cats at least nine pounds can also become blood donors at any time, but this specific blood donor drive is tailored just to dogs.