Have you ever wondered if animals can give blood like humans? What happens if your dog or cat needs a blood transfusion? Where do you go? Where does the blood come from? Who are the donors?

There are a number of blood donor programs in the lower mainland, but one of the biggest is right here in Langley and is run out of the Animal Emergency Clinic of the Fraser Valley. Dr. K’s own labrador Gracie has just become a donor and gave her first donation in July. All of the potential donors undergo careful blood screening to make sure they do not have any blood born diseases or parasites, and are also typed to determine who they can be a match for. Dogs must be over 20kg and under 8 years of age. They are called upon to donate on a rotating basis. The blood is banked and is also made available to regular clinics.

Cats can be blood donors too, and in fact the program is always looking for type B cats as there seem to be fewer. Again, they must be under 8 years of age. Cat’s are sedated to give their donation.┬áDr. Kortschak’s cat Russell has donated many times.

If your pet becomes a donor, they become eligible for free transfusions should they ever need one. They also get great snacks once they have completed their donations!

If you are interested in having your dog or cat become a blood donor, and would like to see further information please visit their website at http://animalemerg.com/blood-services/. This link is also available under ‘Links’ on our website. This is a very worthy cause and you never know when your pet may need blood.