Canine Blood Donation

I love animals, and I am definitely a dog person. I also do something that I *think* many dog parents do, if they are in any way similar to human parents, and that is think of the worst. I think about what would happen to my dogs if they were suddenly injured, and what I would do if they were suffering or not getting what they needed, mostly the normal “what if” scenarios that cause me to hug them tighter and really go the extra mile for them.

Enter canine blood donation. It turns out canine blood donors are in high demand as our Veterinary technology reaches new peaks of increasingly complex critical care. Summer is the time of year with the greatest rate of canine death primarily due to trauma from car related injury, followed by dog on dog maulings. After that in no particular order is surgical blood loss, immune related anemias, cancers and cancer treatment, poisonings, and so on. Canine blood donation and blood components are critical in saving dogs that suffer from these things.

It turns out Grym is the perfect canine blood donor candidate for the Access Blood Bank canine donor program. He is over 50 lbs, he is calm, he is compliant, he will quietly lay still if I ask, he is not aggressive, and most importantly, he is the canine equivalent of a universal donor (it’s a very rare blood type that, as in humans, can be given to any dog). On Thursday, he went in for his first donation. He got onto their donation table all on his own, and got a ton of liver treats.

“Grandma” went with us to help keep him happy. He is very hairy, so the Licensed Vet Tech needed to shave him.

Blood donation requires a jugular stick, and works via gravity. The needle is large, but he didn’t mind. This is his giant hairy neck, and the little red line is his donated blood.

Grym donated about 450 mls of canine blood. This will save the lives of about 3-4 dogs, and will make at least 3-4 families very, very happy.

He got his “I donated blood today” bandanna, scored a bunch of liver treats, and picked out a brand new Kong Wubba, which the Shibas promptly stole from him. He also got a cheeseburger and more liver for supper.

The staff stated he was a perfect donor and an excellent breed ambassador. They had never met a Caucasian Ovcharka, and seemed genuinely pleased to include him in their program. I am so proud of him.

9 thoughts on “Canine Blood Donation

  1. I never knew canine blood donation existed. Kisses to Grym, he is very handsome and brave. I miss having a dog, but always afraid to lose one again.

  2. Thanks for an interesting article and for a terrific comment on my blog. I completely forgot about flyball, but just wait. Maybe next year you can get an AKC Flyball title for $20 — but you have to have an ONYX first.

  3. I've always loved Grym because he's the jolly giant amongst the crazy sheebs but this makes me love him even more. What a great dog! Thanks for sharing this story!

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