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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bianca (and one of my cats) donated blood today!

There is an animal hospital emergency center in my area that does a blood donor program for pets. I was going to join it a while ago but the location was far out in the suburbs. They recently opened a second clinic in the city (much closer) so I signed up for my pets to be screened for it earlier this winter.

They do extensive bloodwork/tests and a physical exam to make sure the pets are healthy, and that they have the right blood type. If they are a good candidate they come in every 2 months to donate blood. My cat Spot donated two months ago and we went back today again. Bianca was recently accepted into the program, she had some abnormal bloodwork results before so they couldn't accept her (high kidney values, but we think it's because she was not fasted before the first bloodwork.) She was retested recently and everything was normal so today was her first donation. The techs said Bianca did great for her first time donating, and Spot is really laid back so he was fine (they also give cats a mild sedative beforehand.) After they are finished they're given sub-q fluids and a can of food.
I brought two of my other cats to be screened for the program too but they were not big enough-- cats must be over 10 pounds to donate and the other two are just under that. That's not a problem for Spot who is a big boy! I am hoping my other two will eventually weigh enough, they're young so they will program get a bit bigger. The vet said there is currently a national shortage of blood for felines.

I think this is a great program and I wanted to post about it to let people know that programs likes this are out there!
I've been interested in finding a program like this for a while, my previous dog would have been a perfect candidate but I only found this one recently when she was too old. I am very happy that my pets can help others in need. The program also gives some benefits such as yearly bloodwork, a $25 credit for vet services for each donation, and free blood products if your pet ever needs them. They also get a bandana and tag to let everyone know they're blood donors.
Here is Bianca proudly wearing her new bandana. One of their vet techs designs them.










Here she is with my blood donor kitty Spot (he wandered in when I was trying to get a pic of Bianca's bandana)



 

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That's pretty neat. How did you find out about this? Is there a nationwide program or is this an individual clinic to clinic thing?
 

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I think it is great! My friend has greyhounds and the rescue/foster family she got them from really pushes blood donation(they are in Chicago, too!) as the greyhounds are universal donors.
I'm glad Bianca's stats were good to go for her to donate! Congrats to her and Spot!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's pretty neat. How did you find out about this? Is there a nationwide program or is this an individual clinic to clinic thing?
It's an individual clinic thing. Some clinics use their own blood donors such as their own pets or a 'clinic cat/dog' as needed, others have volunteer blood donor programs, and others may get their blood products from an animal blood bank which are often run by veterinary schools. Some blood banks who also have donation programs and at least one "Bloodmobile" (run by Penn state.) The clinic in my area provides blood products to other clinics in the area as well.
I think I first found out about it by doing an online search for animal blood donor programs in my area.
 

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Wonderful! When I can drive out to Vancouver Vida and the kitty will be donating! Although the blood transfusion my last dog got didn't help all that much.. I still appreciated it!!!
Theres something about giving blood.. I mean, it's free, harmless (for the most part) and most importantly it saves lives! Yet, so many healthy people don't do it or aren't aware of it!
 

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Good job, Bianca! Those are very cute bandanas, too.

Thank you for this post, it reminded my that Kaylee is just two days away from being old enough to donate. :)
 

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Good girl Bianca and good kitty Spot!!
 
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