Did you know that animals need blood products just like humans do? Ever wondered where this blood comes from? Pet Insurance Australia catches up with Blood Bank Coordinator, Rebecca Charteris from the Australian Animal Blood Bank to chat about the amazing pets who donate blood to save others.
Most pet owners wouldn’t realise the demand for animal blood unless they are faced with a life and death situation where their beloved companion animal required this type of treatment. However, the need for animal blood products is actually on the rise according to the Australian Animal Blood Bank, and they only expect this need to increase as summer quickly approaches.
“Overall, it appears that blood product demand has increased over the last year.
The need for commercially available blood products has definitely increased,” Blood Bank Coordinator, Rebecca Charteris from the Australian Animal Blood Bank says. “Having blood products available to veterinarians to treat critically ill patients in their hospital allows for less stress to the veterinarians regarding sourcing their own blood supply in their hospitals.
#BLOOD DONOR FACT: Donors are routinely screened for infectious diseases
The Australian Blood Bank relies on donors to ensure they can supply their veterinarians the blood they desperately need.
“The amount of blood products supplied can be up to five-units per week on average,” she says. “As we approach the Summer months we anticipate that amount to increase as more cases involving snake envenomations, heat stress etc. are seen at this time of year.”
How Can You Help?
- Enrol your pet into a blood donor program.
- Chat with your local veterinarian about blood donation.
- Contact the Australian Animal Blood Bank if you think your pet can fit their criteria.
- Call local vets and ask if they run an in-house blood donation program.
- Consider putting your pet on an emergency stand-by for blood donation.
“It is wonderful to get the community talking about the need for pets to enrol in blood donor programs,” Rebecca says. “Community members can talk to their vets about whether their vet runs an in-house donor program. Sometimes veterinarians may require donor dogs to be on standby in case of emergency. People can also contact Australian Animal Blood Bank if they believe their dog fits our criteria or if they would like some more information about the program.”
Sadly, many pet owners simply do not know about this very important service. Spreading the word and asking if your pet can become a donor could save another companion animals life.
“Blood products save lives and need to be readily available in order to do that,” Rebecca says. “In the clinical setting, when blood products are required, many times the patients are unable to wait for a lifesaving transfusion. So, having enough donors in our program in turn allows us to be able to provide enough blood products for veterinarians to have these products in their clinics ready for an emergency case.”
#BLOOD DONOR FACT: Canine blood donors are retired at the age of eight.
Your dog can become part of the Australian Blood Bank Blood Donor Program if they:
- Have a good temperament and are willing to “Volunteer”
- Weigh between 25kg and 70kg
- Are between the ages of 1 and 6 years of age
- Are in excellent health
For more information visit http://aabb.com.au/