Heroes Don’t Wear Capes, They Wear Collars!

Most days at work I feel like a superhero. I get to be a part of a team that works together to improve the life of beloved pets. Whether it is helping in a life-saving surgery, helping with vaccines to prevent disease or just gaining the trust of a nervous pet every day I get to feel like I truly make a difference.

But did you know that your pets can also make a difference in a pet’s life? Recently one of my hounds got to help save the life of another dog. Leroy, couch hogging, counter surfing, poop eating Leroy got to be a superhero! We had a dog in for surgery that had lost blood due to a ruptured splenic cyst. I brought my dog in to be a blood donor.

Blood transfusions are needed for a variety of reasons. They may be required for situations like anemia due to blood loss, rodenticide toxicity and clotting disorders. Like humans, dogs and cats have different blood types. Their blood can be cross-matched to find out what blood type they are. In dogs, the first transfusion is typically safe without cross-matching. In cats, it is recommended that they be cross-matched.

While the process of blood donation is generally safe there are a few requirements for our furry heroes. For dogs, they should be over 20kg, under 8 years old, vaccinated and generally healthy. For cats, they should be over 5kg, under 8 years old, vaccinated, generally healthy and indoor cats are preferred.

There are few recommendations after donation. Increase fluids. Keep the animal comfy and relaxed. And cookies….lots of cookies! They earned them.

Written by Southampton Pet Hospital