Bombay Veterinary Hospital organises a blood donation camp for dogs

Updated: Apr 12, 2019, 10:22 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Of the 20 dogs registered for camp at Bombay Veterinary Hospital, only seven qualified

Bombay Veterinary Hospital organises a blood donation camp for dogs
The dog parents were given a certificate stating that their pet had donated blood

A blood donation camp organised at the government-run Bombay Veterinary College on Thursday, saw seven dog parents lining up to get their pets to donate blood. As the hospital does not have a blood bank yet, the plasma and blood cells were extracted from the donated blood to be preserved for treatment of sick dogs in emergency situations, doctors said.

When 23-year-old Anita Mehra had rushed an injured dog to the Bombay Veterinary College around a month ago, the canine was bleeding profusely owing to a road accident. Doctors said that he had suffered from internal bleeding and needed a blood transfusion. Now named Tony, the stray has recovered completely and is awaiting adoption.

Tony is just one of many such dogs falling prey to road accidents every year, losing litres of blood. This how the idea for a blood donation camp for dogs came to the hospital authorities.

More than 100 stray dogs have individually donated blood here in the past four years. This blood has not only been used for dogs who are victims of accidents but also for the ones suffering from blood-related disorders. On a daily basis, the animal hospital receives five to ten cases where blood transfusion is required for injured or sick dogs.

A donation camp was, however, organised for the very first time by the hospital. While around 20 dogs were registered for the donation, around 15 of them turned up. Seven of these were found suitable for donation.

Fit for donation
The donor pet needs to be on an empty stomach at the time of donation, weigh not less than 20 kg and be in the age group 1-9 years. Dogs can donate a bag of blood (350 ml) once in three months. "Seven such units were collected on Thursday. As we cannot store whole blood, we have extracted the plasma and blood cells which can be separately stored for a year. Whole blood, on the other hand, lasts only six months," said Dr J C Khanna, director of the hospital.

Universal donors ideal
After donation, the blood is separated into further components that help in the treatment of dogs suffering from liver diseases, anaemia, internal bleeding, etc. As per the Canine Health Foundation, dogs, much like humans, have types of blood classified into groups. Dogs have over a dozen different blood groups, six of which are fairly common.

Both humans and dogs can be classified as universal donors based on their type or group. Roughly 40 per cent of dogs belong to the universal donor group. Blood from dogs belonging to the universal donor group is compatible with any recipient's blood. Dogs, too, can suffer adverse reactions to transfused blood that is of a different type than theirs, the hospital stated.

Criteria for a donor dog
* Weigh more than 20 kg
* Be in the 1-9 years age group
* Must be on an empty stomach
* Must not have donated blood in the past three months

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