Lisa Chelenza knows that not everyone in your family walks on two legs. For helpful tips on taking care of your animal friends, and advice from local veterinary experts, watch Pet Pointers Wednesday and Saturday on YNN. If you have ideas for Pet Pointers segments, email Lisa at email@example.com.
Pet Pointers: Blood transfusions
In case of an emergency, surgery or life threatening illness it may be necessary for your pet to have a blood transfusion. Today we'll learn more about blood transfusions in pets in this edition of Pet Pointers.
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It may sound out of the ordinary but a blood transfusion could save your dog's life if they are seriously injured. Dr Maureen Luschini explains some of the circumstances when it may be necessary.
"It really depends on the type of blood product they need. The most common reason for a blood transfusion would be if the animal got into some sort of accident, and it requires a transfusion because of bleeding wither externally or internally and they come in and we identify that they have a low red blood cell level and they need a transfusion. We have plasma transfusions as well and that's if they have trouble clotting," she said.
Because there are only a few animal blood banks in the entire country many veterinary offices purchase blood and have it shipped in making a transfusion a little expensive. But many vets believe the need for readily available blood is so great on site donation centers will become more common.
"If you know that you pet is going to be undergoing a surgery in the future that is going to or may require a transfusion, you pet can come in a month earlier and donate blood that can be saved and then transfused to them at a later date, especially during surgery.We are also looking into opening up a blood donor program here where we can actually have pets in the community be blood donors so they can help other pets," the doctor said.
If your dog is easy going, in good health, over 55 pounds and between 2-7 years of age they could be a doggie blood donor. Ask your vet about blood donation or go to animalbloodbank.com for more information.