Canines donate blood this weekend

    If Fido was feeling altruistic this weekend, he was in luck. The Penn Animal Bloodmobile accepted canine blood donations on Saturday in Lumberton, New Jersey.

    Dogs need blood transfusions for the same reasons humans do. If pets are in an accident and lose a lot of blood, if they need surgery, or if they have a clotting disorder they may need transfusions. The process for donating blood is similar to that of human donation, but with more owner petting for soothing purposes.

    Click on the above slideshow to view captions about some of the dogs that donated blood this weekend. (Photos by Lindsay Lazarski / For NewsWorks)

    If Fido was feeling altruistic this weekend, he was in luck. The Penn Animal Bloodmobile accepted canine blood donations on Saturday in Lumberton, New Jersey.

    Dogs need blood transfusions for the same reasons humans do. If pets are in an accident and lose a lot of blood, if they need surgery, or if they have a clotting disorder they may need transfusions. The process for donating blood is similar to that of human donation, but with more owner petting for soothing purposes.

    Dr. Dana Clarke is a veterinarian who works with the Penn Animal Blood Bank. She says for pets, the best part is the treat of canned food afterward. Seasoned donors know when that is coming.

    “They hear the click of the needle stopping for donating blood, and you can see their tail wag,” Clarke said.  “They start to get anxious because they know that means they’re getting food.”

    Elaine Sullivan, a volunteer with the Red Cross of Burlington County Pet Aid team, has been helping out at the dog blood drives for more than 8 years. She has also noticed an eagerness among regulars.

    “One boxer that comes to every blood drive, when he’s waiting his turn,” Sullivan said, “he’s literally crying to get on that bloodmoblie, it’s really funny.”

    Sullivan said first-time donors should be healthy,  between 55 and 150 pounds and between one and six years old to give blood. If an initial blood test determines if the dog is a universal donor, dogs give a pint of blood, just like humans. That blood can be given to a dog of any breed, but must match blood types.

    Donors animals get full blood work-up for free,  including screenings for Lyme disease, heartworm, and organ problems.

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