Red is the Color of Love, and Blood

Red is the color of Love and Blood.
Have you ever given or received blood or know someone who has? Chances are the answer to that question is yes. Do you have a pet, or know someone who does, that has given or received blood? Chances are likely not as high with that question.

Just as in humans, there are many reasons, acute and chronic, your dog may need a transfusion. Trauma, internal bleeding from eating poison, hemolytic anemia, cancer, liver and kidney failure are some examples. If your dog is on the receiving end, you will be quick to learn of the expense. The amount of blood typically ordered for a small dog (125 mL) may cost up to $150.00, including processing and vet mark-up. An acute crisis in a large dog could easily cost up to $1000.00 in blood and blood products in a single day. Dog blood requires special storage instructions for longevity and protection. Shipping and handling will also add to the cost of the blood.

Just as in humans, dogs have blood types. In domesticated dogs, there are about 6 common blood types. There is a universal donor type in dogs as well. A dog receiving a transfusion for the first time is commonly able to accept any blood type. After the first transfusion, a dog given blood with a different blood type than its own may take on the donor’s blood type. Therefore, for future transfusions the recipient’s blood will need to be drawn and tested for an accurate blood type to prevent adverse reactions.

Just as in humans, on the donor end, volunteering your blood or your dog’s blood may save another life. If you are interested in doing this, please contact your veterinarian to get put on a donor list. Because of the storage requirements and limitations, local vets are likely to call on you as needed. You will need to set up an appointment with your vet for an exam and go over the donor requirements and blood typing. Just as fun as it is to know your own blood type, it’s fun to know your dog’s type too. In a life threatening situation for your own dog, knowing this information ahead of time will be very helpful if your dog needs an emergency transfusion. Blood is the gift of life in all beings.

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