Did you know that your fur kid can become a pet blood donor and save the life of another fur baby at some vets near you? If you are hoping to be of some assistance to fur babies across South Africa, we know just how you can help. There are many blood donation centers in South Africa, and some vets have a blood donation program for fur babies looking to make a difference. These pet blood donation programs have professionally registered veterinarians overseeing these procedures and by your fur baby’s side the entire time. Keep in mind your little fur ball is helping a pet who is truly in need of a blood transfusion.
Dog fur kids have 7 different blood groups, the most important distinction between groups being Dog Erythrocyte Antigen (DEA). Cats, however, have only 2 blood groups, A and B. Cats can donate 11-15ml of blood per kilogram of body weight, so it is preferable for bigger feline fur babies to donate blood. Unfortunately, there are no blood bags this small, which means the blood will have to be immediately accessible for the cat in need. Dogs can donate 450ml of blood for every 25 kilograms of body weight, and luckily their blood bags as pretty much the same as humans as they can supply whole blood with packed red cells and frozen plasma. Pet blood donation can save the lives of many fur babies needing blood transfusions for several procedures or emergencies such as internal bleeding, rat poisoning, anemia, low platelet count, and tick bite fever.
If you would like to know more, keep reading.
How can my fur baby doggo become a blood donor?
- Your fur baby needs to be older than one year and younger than six years old.
- He/She should weigh more than 25kgs.
- They need to be free of all diseases and in good health.
- If your fur baby has received a blood donation, we would not recommend they become a donor.
- Ensure that your big baby has a good temperament and is not overly anxious or aggressive.
- They should be up to date with all vaccinations, deworming and tick and flea treatments.
- Your fur kid can donate blood every three months.
- They should not be on any chronic medications.
- Pawrents will need to be residents in and around the area, and fur babies would need to be available for blood donation during working hours.
How can my feline fur baby become a blood donor?
- Your fur baby needs to be older than one year and younger than eight years old.
- He/She should weigh a minimum of 4kgs.
- They should be FIV and FeLV negative.
- Ensure that feline fur kid has good and calm temperament.
- Your fur baby should not be suffering from any chronic diseases.
Once your fur baby has become accustomed to donating blood, it will all seem relatively quick and stress-free.
PETport has our blood donor hero, Jurgen, a German Shepherd fur baby who underwent anesthesia and donated his blood to save a pit bull fur baby’s life. We had the honor of interviewing his fur Mom, and she explained how Jurgen first became a donor, what his experience was like, and what it was like for her, too!
Jurgen went in for his yearly vaccinations and a quick check-up with a new vet at Sandown Animal Hospital, closer to his home. He first became a donor after his mom got a call from the hospital asking if Jurgen would be willing to be a blood donor and undergo the procedure to save a pit bull fur baby who urgently needed blood after an emergency occurrence.
Jurgen met all the requirements for a pet blood donor as he is over 35kgs and as it was an emergency. The fur mom and baby hopped into the car and were at the Sandown Animal Hospital within an hour. He was given anesthesia and had his front legs and neck shaved and a drip inserted for the procedure. Luckily fur baby was only at the hospital for about four hours during and after the procedure, and the fur mom was there to greet him when he woke up.
Once the procedure was completed, the fur baby was handed over to Mom, and she explained he was extremely affectionate, calm, and a little loopy. She says, “He usually sits on the front seat in the car, and I checked in and asked if he was okay. As I started driving, he lay across the front seat on the hand gear to get close to me.” His other fur mom loved his calming aura and loved to hug and cuddle him all day long.
She believes Jurgen had a great time and everything for this big boy is an experience! And it made her realize she needs to become a blood donor too because it highlighted the importance for all species that we need one another!
If your fur baby ticks off all the boxes, they will receive a health assessment to ensure they are fit to donate blood, and mom and dad will be briefed on what to expect, how it works, and what the blood collection process entails. When the blood donation agency requires some blood, they contact the parents to see if the fur baby is available for donation, depending on their temperament. They may be lightly sedated to calm the fur kid during the procedure. And just like humans, a fur baby is free to go and can be taken home once the procedure has been completed.
If you are interested in having your fur baby become a blood donor hero and save some lives today, give the main blood banks in your province a call!
- Tygerberg Animal Hospital – Cape Town, Western Cape – 021 919 1191
- Onderstepoort Animal Blood Bank – Pretoria, Gauteng – 086 100 8387
- Kimberley Veterinary Clinic Blood Bank – Kimberley, Northern Cape – 053 832 5711
- Animal Zone Blood Bank – Tongaat, KwaZulu Natal – 032 944 8513
- White River Animal Blood Bank – White River – Mpumalanga – 082 564 1116