When Boise Canine Officer Jardo arrived at WestVet last week following a gunshot wound, many people from officers and veterinary staff quickly jumped in to save his life. Beyond the doctors, surgeons, technicians and assistants, two other heroes quietly stepped up – with donated blood.
Two WestVet staff member pets, “Myles” a six-year-old Golden Retriever, and “Cricket” a five-year-old Pitbull both donated blood that was used during the emergency surgery that helped Jardo survive the initial surgery..
Dog blood donors provide lifesaving blood for dogs requiring surgery or other procedures. As a surgical center, we have a continuous need for canine blood supplies and as several WestVet employee pets meet the donor qualifications, they donate blood about every six weeks.
The entire procedure takes around thirty minutes. Before donating, potential donor dogs undergo rigorous medical testing to ensure diseases will not be transmitted to recipient dogs.
The donation process is similar to that used when humans giving blood. After a small area is shaved and disinfected, a topical pain medication is applied. As the blood is collected, technicians carefully monitor the volume to ensure the proper amount is obtained.
Once the draw is complete, a bandage is adhered to the area.
Other than a small hairless patch, and a slight bruise, donor dogs exhibit no adverse responses to donating. In fact, Cricket’s owner says she has not had any negative reaction to donating.
One reason that dog blood donors are so important is that canine blood only has a shelf life of 30 to 35 days; meaning the supply needs to be regularly replenished so it is readily available when needed.
Blood donor dogs must be:
- · Healthy and Happy
- · Greater than 50 lbs
- · Between 1-7 yrs old
- · Able to lay still for 10 minutes
- · Committed to donatitons for at least 2 years
WestVet is proud to work with Canine Blood Heroes of Boise to serve animals throughout the Treasure Valley. Contact them to determine if your pet can be a donor.