Addresses need for available dog blood in veterinary medicine
Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG) has debuted its VEG Blood Bank program and is currently accepting dog donors at its local hospitals in the Washington, DC, and Boston areas. This blood collected will be stored to be used at VEG or by local veterinary clinics to help save lives of dogs. The program plans to expand nationally, with the blood banks being brought to Philadelphia and Tampa next.1
“Like the human world, when ER cases are critical, they can require blood donations and unfortunately, canine blood supplies are low and always in need, “said Jessie Brown, blood bank director at VEG, in a company release. “That is why we are opening the VEG Blood Bank. But we cannot do it alone, so we are looking to local pet parents to see if their dog fits the criteria to be a superhero blood donor.”
To determine if a dog is eligible to donate blood, pet owners must visit VED hospitals with blood banks. Dogs must sit for 5-10 minutes while blood is drawn during the screening process. According to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation,2 to be eligible to donate blood, typically dogs must be updated on their required vaccinations (ie, distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, hepatitis, and rabies) and free of any medications aside from flea, tick, and heartworm preventives. Dogs who have received blood transfusions and those with cardiac conditions may be ineligible. There are also age and weight requirements, depending on the program.
If the dog is deemed eligible, they can then donate blood for dogs in the local community. This complete process takes approximately 45 minutes, VEG noted.1 What’s more, all dogs donating blood to the VEG Blood Bank will receive a complete blood screening and a full exam by a licensed veterinarian at no cost for the pet owner.
VEG Blood Bank donations will be used to treat injuries/traumas, surgeries, diseases/disorders (anemia), blood cell damage, internal bleeding, and immune-mediated diseases.1