INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — We hear a lot about the importance of blood donations for people, but did you know man’s best friend can donate too?Canine blood donation is a big need that many may not have ever known about.
Hippo and her owner Sarah Bigelow visit IndyVet once a month to donate blood. IndyVet is an emergency and specialty veterinary hospital that serves animals who need emergency blood transfusions.
The donated blood comes from the Pet Blood Donation Center at IndyVet. to qualify to donate, your dog needs to be 1 to 8 years old, weigh at least 50 pounds and have no diseases.
The blood draw takes about 15 minutes, and like humans, comfort is key.
“They treat her so well and she feels comfortable here,” said Bigelow. “She wouldn’t want to come if she didn’t.”
But the demand for pet blood is high. Dogs across central Indiana come to IndyVet for emergency treatment, and the donated blood doesn’t last forever.
Dr. Kelly Robertson, a vet at IndyVet said there are 92 dogs who currently donate, but they’d like to double that number. She said the number of trauma patients they receive — due to things like getting hit by cars, having internal bleeding, or spontaneous bleeding after getting into rat bait — is creating high demand.
Bigelow said Hippo really enjoys donating once a month because the staff spoils her so much.
Different dogs, depending on weight, give different sample sizes. Like humans, there are different blood types, as well.
And if nothing else, the treatment by the staff and the treat at the end make the visit all worth it.
Owners also get a special treat, “pet perks,” which include discounts on future veterinary services by their pet’s regular vet.
IndyVet also accepts feline blood donations. Click here for more information on the requirements.
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