Launceston vet calls for dogs to donate blood

Just like humans, animals also need blood donations and one Launceston vet clinic is calling on more dog blood donors to put their paws up. 

Donations save the lives of about 25 hounds annually, the Launceston Animal Medical Centre says.

Vet Rob Schaeche said lots of animals required blood transfusions. 

“The big one is rat-based poisoning, which is very prominent for this time of year,” Dr Schaeche said. 

“These dogs tend to bleed internally and become anaemic very quickly and sometimes we have to give them blood to buy us time to allow for the antidote to work.”

Dogs that have autoimmune diseases and bone marrow problems also require blood donations. 

“I would say we need donors once every two weeks, that would be about how often we have a case where we would need to use a transfusion for,” Dr Schaeche said. 

The centre normally has a handful of donors it can call when a donation is required. 

“What we do is get a dog in fresh, and if we don’t end up using it we can keep it for a couple of weeks, but we generally use it on the spot,” he said. 

“The best dogs are greyhounds because they have a very high red cell count and it’s very easy to get their veins because they’re athletic animals and they’re short coated.”

Ideally the clinic looks for universal blood groups, but the breed of dog doesn’t mater. 

The donation takes about five minutes and the donor dogs are given a bag of food as a thankyou. 

To get your dog involved contact the clinic.