Blood donation is something one usually associates with humans. Every month mobile blood collection units traverse the country collecting donated human blood that is stored in blood banks for use in emergencies, surgery, transplants and for a host of other medical needs.
But few of us realise that animals often need blood transfusions too. Other animals are the source of that much-needed blood.
In South Africa where the biliary-carrying yellow dog tick is rife, blood transfusions are commonly needed during treatment of anaemia. Anaemia is a symptom of biliary, and biliary can be deadly.
Country Animal Clinic in Scholtz Road, Somerset West has started a doggie donor list. Veterinarian Ingrid de Wet hopes that with enough donors listed, when the time comes for urgent transfusions she will have a selection of suitable donors to choose from.
Potential donors must be over 1 year old and be sterilised. They must weigh more than 25 kg, and must never have had a blood transfusion or puppies. Their owners must live close to the clinic and be willing to bring the dog in for sedation and blood collection on short notice.
The procedure takes about 30 minutes, is painless and the donor dog will be monitored by veterinary staff for an hour afterwards before being sent home.