Blood Donation For Canines

Nobody can disagree how important donating blood is, but did you know that there is a shortage of blood for our Canines, when they need it.

Here are some facts about Blood Donation For Canines!

What happens at a blood collection session?

The comfort and health of donor dogs is of paramount importance and the donation process should be as relaxed and enjoyable as possible for all involved.

  1. The appointment is split into two parts:
  • Health and suitability check with a fully qualified vet
  • Donation

2. The vet will go through the following process with your dog prior to any donation going ahead:

  • undertake a physical examination of your dog and takes its health history
  • carefully clip and clean a small area of your dog’s neck
  • microchip your dog if it not already microchipped

If all is well, you dog will go through to the donation room where a fully qualified phlebotomist will draw about 450ml of your dog’s blood.

Once the donation is made your dog will be brought to the refreshment area for a well earned drink and snack.

You are then ready to go home, some dogs may want to take it easy for a little while, but many will get on with their normal routine.

In total, you should allow around 40 minutes for your appointment, although the actual donation process only takes 5 and 10 minutes.

What happens to your dog’s blood?

The blood is taken from the jugular vein in your dog’s neck and goes into a special blood collection bag containing anti-coagulants to stop the blood from clotting. The collection set has four bags attached to the tubing, one bag is used to collect the blood and the others are used during processing.

At the end of the collection session the units of blood are collected and transported to a processing centre. The blood is transported in a protective box which allows it to cool down gradually to around 20 degrees Centigrade. This means every unit of blood can be traced back to the donor dog.

The tubing and needle are removed in sterile conditions and the unit of blood is weighed and placed in the centrifuge. It is then spun at 3,800 revolutions per minute, for fifteen minutes to allow the red blood cells to separate from the plasma.

When the unit is removed from the centrifuge the lab team carefully transfer the plasma into one of the other collection bags and the red cell nutrient is added to the red cells in the other bag to extend their shelf life to six weeks. Both a labelled with the unique reference number.

The plasma is placed in the minus eighty degrees centigrade freezer to be frozen. Once frozen it is transferred into the minus thirty four degrees centigrade freezer for storage for up to five years.

The red blood cells are placed in a special refrigerator and stored at four degrees centigrade for up to six weeks.

The units of plasma and red blood cells are stored at a Pet Blood Bank until they are needed by a vet for a patient.

When needed, the unit of plasma or red blood cells is packed carefully in temperature controlled boxes to ensure the temperature is maintained at the correct level until the blood reaches the vet. When it arrives, it is carefully warmed to body temperature before being given in a blood transfusion to a sick or injured dog.

Speak to your vet today about dog blood donation, you never know when or if you dog ever needs a blood transfusion.




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