All joking aside, blood, blood typing and donation is a serious matter. For many, the concept of blood donation may seem solely reserved for human beings. We are all accustomed to the pleas for increased donations during times of disaster, and we may incorporate donations to the Red Cross in to our regular lives. But what happens when a companion animal needs blood? They can be affected by the same types of tragedies as humans, but can they receive the same type of care?
Fortunately, the answer is YES!
Take the case of Abby, a 22-week old German shepherd puppy. In February, Abby presented to Advanced Veterinary Care for anemia and apparent coagulopathy. She had been experiencing lethargy and labored breathing for a day prior to being taken to her family veterinarian, where it was discovered her PCV was dangerously low and her blood was not clotting as it should. Owners reported Abby had possibly been exposed to rodenticide. She was given an initial Vitamin K injection and transferred to AVC for further care. Upon evaluation, it was determined that a whole blood transfusion would be of tremendous benefit, as would continuing with the Vitamin K therapy. Fortunately, AVC has a network of employees who have had their own pets prescreened to be donors in just such a case.
Enter Milo, a Weimeraner and long-time donor, to the rescue! After a transfusion of Milo’s blood, coupled with 24 hours of care including Vitamin K therapy, Abby was well enough to be discharged to her family. Abby was continued on a Vitamin K therapy and we are happy to report she is happy and healthy again.