Could Your Pet Be a Hero? | - August 16, 2011

"...did you know that there is a crucial need for blood donors in veterinary medicine..."

We all know that blood transfusions save human lives when surgery, trauma or disease causes significant blood loss.  We regularly hear about Red Cross blood drives, and most people are aware of the need for human blood donors.  But did you know that there is a crucial need for blood donors in veterinary medicine as well?  Dogs and cats often need emergency blood transfusions, too.

With the growing trend to treat pets like family, in addition to advances in the field of veterinary medicine, more people are seeking to do whatever it takes to keep their pets alive and well.  Illnesses or injuries that may once have been a death sentence no longer have to be.

The growing demand for accident treatment, procedures, or surgeries that require blood transfusion therapy means that there is now a much greater demand for animal blood donors. Just as human blood banks depend on human blood donors, animal blood banks must depend on animal blood donors; healthy canine and feline blood donors are desperately needed!

Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center of Santa Fe has initiated an in-house blood donor program to acquire and maintain the blood products needed for our patients.  Some donors belong to our employees, but we need volunteer blood donors from the community in order to help meet the need for blood products.

Prospective volunteer blood donors and their owners must meet several criteria in order to become donors; your first step is to call the blood bank and complete a telephone screening interview, during which we will determine if you and your pet are eligible to participate in the program.  Once we have determined that the program requirements are met, we can then schedule an initial appointment; a veterinarian will perform a physical exam and the necessary blood typing and screening on your pet. The physical examinations and blood screenings for blood donors are at no charge to the pet owner; VESCNM covers the cost!

After their first donation, blood donors will receive a tag identifying them as a blood donor, and our animal blood donors are always rewarded for their gift; they receive love, hugs, treats, and toys every time they donate! 

In addition to the pride and personal knowledge that you’ve made it possible for your pet to save the lives of other pets, participating pet owners also receive gifts and valuable coupons each time their pet donates. You may also rest assured that blood will always be available for any pet in your household, should they ever need a blood transfusion.

And even if your pet is not a candidate, or you are unable to meet the criteria, you can still help, by advocating for animal blood donation.  Talk to people at the dog park, groomer, doggy daycare and around town; tell your friends about animal blood donation; ask them to enroll their pet, or spread the word to others.

Do you have a calm, friendly, healthy cat or dog that might be eligible to become a blood donor?  Would you like to give your dog or cat the opportunity to save lives?  If you are interested in learning more about animal blood donation, please contact the Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center of Santa Fe at 505.984.0625 and speak with Tracey West or Lynne Babineau RVT.  We look forward to hearing from you!

The people of the community are our greatest allies.  We appreciate everyone who comes to us willing to have their pet donate blood.  For your support and dedication to the Santa Fe Animal Emergency Clinic Volunteer Animal Blood Bank, we humbly thank you!