There are many ways for people to give back to other people. Did you know that your dog can also make a contribution to the dog world? Your dog may just be the perfect blood donor. By allowing your dog to donate blood you just may be saving the life of a dog that is ill or has been in an accident ( and you get free blood panels done for your dog at the same time!)
The dog world could use a few more “good men” to help those in need. Currently only large and medium dogs are allowed to donate, because they don’t make a blood pack small enough for a toy or little dog, though they are working on it.
Your veterinarian can draw the blood from your dog, and the process is really very simple. Your dog is laid on her side in a quiet room with a front leg extended, which is usually where the best veins are located. While you talk to her and keep her calm, the needle is inserted into the vein and the process begins. The actual drawing process takes about 5–10 minutes. They take approximately 450 ml of blood and mix it with an anti-coagulant to prevent clotting. You will need to block out about 45 minutes for the entire process; most of that time is to make sure that your dog is healthy and feeling okay after the procedure.
Your dog does not have to be a purebred, and she can donate blood up to four times a year. One donation of blood can save the lives of up to four other dogs. After your dog has donated a few times, she will get used to the process and become more relaxed. After all, who wouldn’t love getting a rest in a dark room while being given a calming massage, not to mention the treats that are in store for them after the process is over.
One of the other benefits of being a dog blood donor is that you will receive a comprehensive blood panel, free of charge, which lets you know your dog is hale and hearty. Dogs are not paid for blood donation, but many veterinarians offer a goodie bag with toys and treats. How many dogs do you know that are going to turn down free treats and toys?
If you are interested in having your dog donate blood, here are a few things to consider:
• Does your dog enjoy her vet visits?
• Does she greet the vet with a wagging tail?
• Are they relaxed at the vet’s office?
• Is your dog the correct size and weight? Your vet can help you determine this.
• How do you personally feel about giving blood? Is it OK with you?
• The calmer you are the better your dog will be about it.
There is a saying that “every person who walks through your life changes it”—it is the same with dogs. What better way to show your special companion how much you love her than by helping her give back to another dog?
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