Have you ever received a blood transfusion? If so, you know that an ample blood supply depends on donors willing to spare their time, and blood, to ensure people can receive this critical treatment. Likewise, pets who have life-threatening injuries, diseases, and surgical complications sometimes require a blood transfusion. Our blood bank supplies life-saving blood products to critical canine and feline patients at Upstate Vet and other area veterinary hospitals. But, we could not maintain a fully stocked supply of blood products without the help of our amazing donor dogs and cats. These pets are crucial to our mission of providing the most comprehensive care to each and every patient. Let’s follow one of our canine donors, Dallas, as he visits Upstate Vet to donate blood.
Today, I am taking a trip to see my friends at Upstate Vet to donate blood. My blood donation days always start with lots of extra snuggles from my mom, since she seems to think the day will be scary. You want to know a secret? I act a little scared, to get more treats and attention, but I actually enjoy my blood donation days. I am treated like royalty by everyone I see at Upstate Vet, and get loads of treats and goodies. Plus, I get to go on a car ride, which is my favorite!
When we get to Upstate Vet, one of my friends comes to get me while my mom relaxes. I am usually only here for about 30 minutes, which is probably enough time for her to catch up on the latest Facebook gossip—I mean, news. Everyone stops to scratch behind my ears or rub my head, as I walk to the back. Like I said—royalty. The blood donor room is awesome, with cozy beds where I can relax, and jars of all my favorite treats.
The vet comes in and rubs me all over as he looks in my mouth, listens to my heart, and takes my temperature. OK, I really don’t like that part, but he explains the importance of checking my overall health, since my blood will go to other dogs, and I don’t want to pass along any germs. I’m not sure what germs are, but apparently, that’s a big deal, because my blood is tested every year to ensure I don’t have any diseases or parasites. My mom always gets excited when my blood is tested, because my Upstate Vet team runs all kinds of blood tests at no charge, since I’m a VIP blood donor. They send the results to my regular veterinarian—the one I go see for my shots, which also isn’t so bad, since they let me lick peanut butter from the exam table. They also test my blood, so it gets matched to the right pets, and doesn’t cause a reaction.
After the vet says I look good, a small spot on my neck is shaved and cleaned. One of the girls scratches under my chin, so I barely notice the quick poke, which lasts only a second. Then, the spoiling really begins. At least one person stays by my side, rubbing my belly and talking to me, while my blood flows into the bag. I think it’s pretty cool that my blood can actually save another pet’s life. The doctors here at Upstate Vet take care of other pets who are really sick, and they need to have blood ready at all times, in case a dog or cat loses a lot of blood, like from being hit by a car.
Once when I was here, one of the cat donors came in, and they gave her a shot that made her sleepy for her donation. Well, she missed out, because I receive the most attention during my donation time. But, I overheard my friends say that she only lets her favorite people pet her, so she probably wouldn’t have appreciated the extra love.
After the blood bag is full, I get MORE treats and attention, and everyone thanks me for donating. No big deal—I don’t really miss the blood they take, since I’m big, and I have plenty to share. But, I graciously accept the extra love before being taken back to my mom. My friend waves goodbye, and says she will see me again in a few months, as I head out the door, thinking about taking a nap in my cozy bed—after the car ride!
We are incredibly appreciative of our canine and feline blood donors, who are responsible for saving countless pets’ lives. If you think your pet would make a good blood donor, check out the perks of being a member of our VIP club. If your sick or injured pet needs a blood transfusion, our blood bank is available 24/7—give us a call to discuss the best plan for their successful recovery.