Summer Shortages at Veterinary Blood Banks: Your Pets Can Help!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 1:00pm
Brown dog and black cat sitting next to each other

At the ASPCA Animal Hospital, our veterinarians frequently treat animals that are in need of blood and plasma transfusions. A wide range of animal medical conditions necessitate transfusion procedures, such as kittens who are anemic due to flea infestation, or as part of treatment for dogs who have ingested rat poison.

Just like humans, cats and dogs have unique blood types. The ASPCA relies on blood and plasma donations from pet blood banks across the country to treat animals in need, including the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank of Purcellville, Virginia, located in the DC metro-area.

As many families embark on vacations this summer, Blue Ridge and other pet blood banks are experiencing a shortage of donations. Blood donations are crucial to the ASPCA as we provide veterinary care for animals in need each and every day. If you’re in the Washington, D.C.- area, please consider bringing your dog to Blue Ridge to donate blood.

Blue Ridge operates a volunteer-sourced blood bank. Donor pups receive a preliminary health screening before resting on soft cushions and munching on peanut butter and cheese treats while they donate blood.  While it’s true that a dog cannot technically “volunteer” to donate blood, dogs whose pet parents bring them to Blue Ridge are not muzzled, sedated or forced to donate.

Veterinary blood banks are prevalent nationwide, so pet parents outside of the Washington, D.C.-area are likely to find opportunities to donate. Units of blood can be broken down by component, including red blood cells and plasma, so just one unit can save multiple animals’ lives. For more information about your local veterinary blood bank, please talk to your veterinarian.

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