It’s the first dog blood donor clinic of its kind ever to be held in British Columbia and it’s a big hit.
“We just wanted to give back to the community,” says Megan Vaughon, who brought her dog, Jasper. “Jasper had to have surgery two years ago and if he had needed blood, I would have hoped it would have been there for him.”
The K-9 blood donor clinic, held in Langford on Saturday, is for the Canadian Animal Blood Bank.
Life-saving blood products are desperately needed in Canada and around the world to help canines going through a ‘ruff’ patch.
“Each donation that a dog does can save up to three dog’s lives so that three dogs that get the chance to go home to their families,” explains Jessica Foyle of the Canadian Animal Blood Bank.
At the Westcoast Animal Veterinary Emergency Specialty Hospital (WAVES), which is hosting the doggie donor clinic, they average five to seven canine transfusions a month.
“Much like humans animals need blood products for trauma, immune disease, post surgery, so they’re really no different than humane beings,” says Dr. Erinne Brander of WAVES.
Dogs have their own blood types, just like humans, but animal blood banks are relatively new.
“We pull blood from healthy pets and that blood gets distributed to larger hospitals throughout Canada so we’re not only able to increase the pool of blood we can purchase from them, but helping other communities as well,” Dr. Brander explains.
Pooches must be between the ages of one and eight to donate — and at least 55 pounds. And it helps if they’re calm and even-tempered.
“I personally donate blood and if my dogs can donate back in that way, why not?” says Samantha Jagt, who brought her dog, Seamus.
With treats as a thank you, 17 dogs are giving the gift of life at the clinic — helping out their four-legged friends.
The community response was so great, 20 others had to be turned away and are now on a waitlist for the next clinic.
WAVES says it now plans to hold doggie blood donor clinics every few months.