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Pet blood donations needed amid critical shortage

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Posted at 12:47 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 12:47:04-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Just like humans facing medical procedures or illness, animals required blood transfusions and hospitals are asking for more donations amid a "critical" shortage.

BluePearl has eight pet blood banks across the country, including a location in Tampa.

"Dogs and cats require blood transfusions for many of the same reasons humans do: illness, injury, or surgery,” said Dee Ann Dugger, Senior Clinician, Head of Emergency Service, Blood Bank Director at BluePearl Pet Hospital in Tampa. “However, with only a handful of banks nationally, getting safe blood to a pet who is in immediate need is a challenge. Right now, we, as a veterinary community, are not producing enough blood for veterinarians around the country. We simply need more donors.”

BluePearl veterinarians are urging pet owners to get their dog and/or cat screened to see if they could help save another furry life.

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"Similar to humans, cats and dogs have different blood types; felines have three different feline-specific blood types, and canines have six,” said Dr. Dugger. “While cats and dogs have several different blood types, with some in higher demand than others, a wide donor pool is needed. Pet blood donation is one of the best ways to give back to both people and pets.”

Eligibility requirements for blood donors:

Dogs:

  • Good temperament and health
  • Between 1-7 years old
  • No history of transfusions
  • Minimum body weight of 50 pounds (22 kg)
  • Current on rabies, distemper/parvo combination vaccine
  • Current on heartworm/flea/tick prevention

Cats:

  • Between 1-7 years old
  • Minimum body weight of 10 pounds (4.5 kg)
  • No history of transfusions
  • Donor and feline housemates must be indoors only
  • Current on rabies, feline viral vaccine
  • Current on flea/tick prevention

BluePearl says donations are accepted at their Tampa, Brandon and Clearwater hospitals. For more information click here.