VSC Offers Blood Donation Program for Pets
Did you know your pet can be a blood donor? Dogs or cats who have had an accident or illness often need access to donated blood. Thankfully, a blood donor service is available through the Veterinary Specialty Centre of Newfoundland and Labrador (VSC).
The Veterinary Specialty Centre was founded by Dr. Trina Bailey, who is the province’s only board-certified veterinary surgeon. Dr. Bailey felt it was important to offer this blood service here. “In the past, pet owners would have to seek advanced medical care and services for their pet outside of the province and that had time and financial implications,” said Dr. Bailey. “We’re offering specialty care services, like the blood donor clinic, here at home. These services are an extension of the care pets receive from their primary care veterinarian.”
In order to offer specialty and emergency services to treat pets for such conditions as severe trauma, life threatening infections, and cancer, the VSC requires access to donor blood.
“Our blood donor pets help by keeping our in-house blood bank continuously stocked to save the life of another pet,” said Dr. Bailey. “They become our pet heroes.”
It’s a service that saves lives. Carmel Doyle’s cocker spaniel Katie require two blood transfusions. Thankfully, the blood was available. The dog recovered quickly and is now back to her playful, energetic self. “My sincere thanks to the donor and pet owner who took the time to give the gift of life as well as to my own Vet - Dr. Colleen Simms and all the Vets and staff at VSC.” You can learn more about Katie’s story here.
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Constable Bill Kennedy works with the K-9 unit. He says, “it’s very important for his unit to know there’s access to the blood supply in the city should one of the dogs need it.” Hear more from Cst. Kennedy about blood donation and meet his dog Gunner.
Once it has been determined your pet can be a donor, blood is collected. It takes approximately two hours for the assessment and donation process. Donor animals receive free laboratory testing including a full blood work-up during the first donation, health assessment, and a unit of blood or plasma transfusion for each unit donated, should the pet require it at a future date.
Your pet must also meet the following criteria:
- Age of your pet 1 to 8 years
- Vaccinations are up to date
- No history of blood or plasma transfusion
- Not currently on any medication
- Healthy weight
Pet owners interested in participating in the blood donor program are asked to contact the clinic for more information. You can also learn more by visiting our website at www.vscnl.ca.
Ronalda Walsh, ABC
VSC Communications & Marketing
P: (709) 689-4997 E: firstname.lastname@example.org