Pet Emergency Awareness
Pets Need Blood Too – 3 Ways Donated Blood Can Help Save an Animal (or 3)
If you’re a blood donor, you may already know that one blood donation can save three lives. Did you know animals can donate blood? We understand that blood donation is not for everyone, and some people are terribly afraid of the process. In an effort to help build awareness here in WNY and beyond, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk about how important blood donation can be for necessary emergency blood transfusions.
Our animals are able to donate blood, and in doing so, can help save the lives of other animals in need. Pet blood donations can often make a major difference in a life-or-death situation for a sick pet. Perhaps your pooch or kitty could be our next blood donor hero! We will continue to talk more about blood donation here on the blog in the future, as it is a topic we feel more pet lovers need to know about, but today we just wanted to introduce readers to some of the real-life ways that blood donation is put into action to help save lives.
What is a blood transfusion?
A blood transfusion means administering blood, or potential sub-products, to an animal in need. Some common blood components may include red blood cells or platelets. Like humans, a blood transfusion is common following a life-threatening emergency. By donating blood, your pet can help save an animal facing any of the following emergencies.
When a physical trauma occurs, such as being hit by a car, blood loss can be life-threatening. Any blood loss may require an emergency blood transfusion in order to save a patient’s life. Sometimes an emergency can cause emergency surgery to be necessary, or there could just be an underlying condition that requires routine pet surgery. In either case, any surgical procedure may require blood transfusion to help support the pet.
When bleeding occurs in an organ or body part, a process begins to stop the bleeding. This is known as hemostasis. Hemostasis requires platelets, proper blood clotting proteins, and blood vessels that constrict properly. Some bleeding disorders may be present at birth (congenital), or occur later (acquired). There are many bleeding and clotting disorders that can be helped by the donation of blood and other products associated with blood donation. A common blood disease known as Von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) is often a reason for needing blood transfusion and necessary plasma.
There are many diseases that can require a pet to need a blood transfusion. Some conditions and situations are more preventable than others. Immune conditions like immune-mediated anemia are unfortunately not preventable but can be managed. Emergency situations that cause blood loss, and cancer that can lead to anemia are also difficult to prevent. Cancer often causes issues that may require a blood transfusion.
The Good News
This blog serves as an awareness tool for WNY pet owners. We understand that pet emergency situations are scary, and we aim to help our local community be more educated, so they can help to prevent pet emergencies from occurring.
The silver lining of this blood transfusion blog is that donating blood CAN REALLY HELP in a matter of life and death. In many scenarios, time is the most important factor in blood transfusion. When a superstar pet donor provides a donation, it helps save lives here in our WNY community.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about how you can be a donor, please don’t be shy. We are more than willing to help you better understand if the process is right for your pet, and how else you may be able to help! We will talk more about how blood donation can help, FAQs, and more! Stay tuned to the blog, as well as our social media for more pet safety tips!