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Blood donor clinic set up -- for dogs

There is an urgent need for blood donors -- but not human ones.

A special donation drive was held Saturday at the Guelph Animal Hospital.

Dogs stepped up to help save another animal’s life.

“After we do the collection we’ll take it back to Burlington Veterinarian Medicine Hospital and we’ll spin it down to create a product called ‘packed red blood cells,’ and then we’ll also create plasma,” said Quinn Moyer, the regional unit manager for the Canadian Animal Blood Bank.

It’s used to help other animals, including dogs in need of emergency surgery or other medical complications.

The Canadian Animal Blood Bank said one of their biggest hurdles is getting the word out about canine blood donations.

Some of the dogs at Saturday’s clinic were giving blood for the first time after a call was put out on social media.

“It’s an important thing to have a blood bank available to them,” said one dog owner. “If they are able and healthy enough to donate, I think that’s a great thing. Who knows? One day, hopefully they’ll never need it, but if they need it in return, hopefully it will work in their favour.”

All dogs need to weigh at least 55 lbs. to give blood.

“It’s just because in order for us to meet that 450 mLs that we take, to make sure the anti-coagulant within the bag is viable and we’re not creating an anti-coagulant toxicity in the recipient.”

Although it can be a strange experience for some dogs, the Canadian Animal Blood Bank said most donations go smoothly.

“The weirdest part for them is getting them up onto the table,” Moyer said. “That’s kind of the thing that freaks them out the most and it’s usually a three to five minute job on the table, and then we take them off and they’re all done.”

They also need the dog’s veterinarian to give the pups an all clear.

“We do require them to sign off on one of our donor registration forms to make sure that the animal is healthy and well enough to donate.”

Dogs can donate blood once every three months and organizers confirm that they do, if fact, get a cookie afterwards.

The Canadian Animal Blood Bank posts upcoming clinics on its website. Top Stories

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