To be a blood donor you have to be healthy and eat wisely. This time, however, it’s not people who donate blood – it’s dogs and cats. The main idea is: if people can help other people that way, then animals can help other animals. It’s that simple!The veterinary blood bank „Miluś” in Góra Kalwaria (near Warsaw) has been open for thirteen years now. The staff drive through the whole country to take blood from healthy cats and dogs and then deliver it to those being ill.
Blood is an indispensible cure. It’s necessary to heal many diseases, says Robert Marczak of the veterinary blood bank.
Blood is tranfused not only to animals suffering from cancer or haemophilia, but also to those being seriously injured and in any case of tick-borne disease.
One of the most common diseases of that kind is babesiosis (a malaria-like parasitic disease). It very often causes acute anemia, so the blood is then transfused as a supplementary agent, explains the veterinary surgeon Aleksandra Grzelińska of the veterinary clinic „Mokry Nos” in Częstochowa.
Only a healthy animal can become a blood donor. The minimum weight is 26 kilos (57 pounds) for dogs and 3.5 kilos (7.7 pounds) for cats, and they can donate 450 ml and 50 ml of blood respectively.
All the animals have to be dewormed, vaccinated and regularly checked by a vet, stresses Marczak.
The whole procedure is simple and painless, although when it comes to cats, light anaesthesia is always used.
Reward for being brave
As human donors get chocolate after being brave enough to share their blood, pets always get a toy and some snacks as a reward for their good deed.
Apart from that, pet’s blood group is determined. The blood is also tested for infectious diseases… it’s like a general morphology, adds Grzelińska.
One last benefit is that when the donating animal gets sick one day, its on a priority list to get blood transfused from a healthy (animal) friend.
Could our pets be any more awesome? 😀