With February being the month of love and all things heart related, we thought it was a good time to publicise that we are always looking for new blood donors!
Sadly we often see patients with life threatening conditions who need a blood transfusion. We can give emergency transfusions to cats and dogs just like they do in human medicine for such conditions as blood loss through trauma, clotting issues or anaemia. Although we store synthetic blood products for a true emergency at the Barn, a fresh blood transfusion is always best and can be a matter of life or death in some cases.
Some of our original blood donors, from when we opened in 2011 are now starting to get *ahem how do we put this gently?* a bit old to be donors (!) so we are looking for some healthy youngsters to join our register.
If you would be interested in offering your cat or dog as a donor there are some criteria that do need to be met.
Dogs must be between one and eight years old. They must weigh over 25kg and be in good health. Also they must never have travelled abroad and have up to date vaccinations. They must never have received a blood transfusion themselves either.
Cats are a little more complicated! Donor cats should ideally weigh more than 4 kg (but should not be overweight), aged ideally between 1 and 5 years old, have a calm temperament and not get unduly stressed when visiting the Barn.
A donor cat should be free of any significant illnesses, and be fully vaccinated. An ideal donor will also be an indoor-only cat, as this significantly reduces the risk of many infectious disease that could potentially be transmitted to a recipient cat, however this is not always possible so we do check for life threatening viral infections immediately before every blood donation in outdoor cats. Again the donor cat should also never have recieved a blood transfusion themselves.
Just like with humans, cats and dogs have blood types and we would need to perform a simple blood typing test on potential candidates. Once we have this information your contact details are kept on file and in the (fingers crossed) unlikely event that we need a donor we will phone you!