Can you imagine how distressed some dog parents feel when clinics say no blood available for their dogs’ surgery? And they call for volunteers to donate blood to only find no response. Hong Kong has no commercial blood banks for hospitals to buy blood products from and, as a result, dogs in need rely on either blood products purchased overseas with a high time and financial cost or locally donated blood.
There is something you can do now than later as a precaution. It also saves lives of other fellow canines. Here is an overview of blood transfusion for dogs in Hong Kong.
In what circumstances your dog may need a blood transfusion?
Situations such as external and internal bleeding caused by a road accident, rat-bait poisoning, anaemia caused by tick fever, cancer, kidney disease or auto-immune problems. Blood contains various components that can be beneficial or even lifesaving.
Where in Hong Kong operates animal blood donation campaign?
Organisations thriving to achieve self-sufficiency in the supply of animal blood products in Hong Kong to save lives are Society for Abandoned Animals Limited (SAA), Hong Kong Animal Blood Centre and Animal Emergency Centre.
What’s in it for your dog to be a donor?
Primarily, be a hero and save dogs’ lives. As a gesture of goodwill, incentives are offered. For example, the side benefit for a successful donor to Hong Kong Animal Blood Centre includes free health checks, free blood tests and eligibility of getting the same amount of blood your dog donates for free if your dog needs it in the future. Animal Emergency Centre in conjunction with East Island Animal Hospital offers annual GHPPiL vaccination, annual Proheart injection if your dog commits to 4 times of blood donation a year.
How much blood will be taken from a donor?
‘The amount of blood taken from an animal is based strictly on how much the animal weighs.’ said Dr Swan, who is a pioneer in animal blood test procedures in Hong Kong. ‘Generally, an animal can resume normal activity one hour after donating blood.’
What does an ideal donor look like?
There are certain criteria to fulfil to minimise risk of adverse reactions to blood donation. In principle, an ideal donor should be heathy and friendly, aged between 1 and 6 and weight above 25kg. Vaccinated with a valid dog licence and has never been pregnant before. Please look at the specific organisations for details.
How does the process of blood donation take place?
After the preliminary body check, a veterinary team will take the initial pre-screening blood samples. Then they decide which position is best for your pet’s donation. In most cases, your pet will be lying on her side which is comfortable for everyone. It is always necessary that veterinary assistant to hold your pet during the donation for health and safety reasons. The clipped area will be cleaned with cleansing solution and the needle which connected to a sterile single use blood collection bag will be placed into the jugular vein. Depending on the size of your pet, normally 450ml of blood will be drawn from each dog donor. The donation takes about 5-10 minutes. The needle will be removed from the vein and a dressing will be applied to the venipuncture.
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