May 27, 2024

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Small animals can also have blood donation cards, as long as their owners agree to donate blood.
Small animals can also have blood donation cards, as long as their owners agree to donate blood. © Warnecke (Archive)

The first blood donation day was last year, but this time the second blood donation day will be held at the Sottolam Small Animal Clinic on Saturday, June 15th from 10am.

SOTTRUM – This day is called Blood Donation Day, says veterinarian Marco Verhaan Beinig, but the name is actually a bit misleading: “What we do is… It’s actually a typing campaign, so we determine, for example, what blood type the animal has and what other animals there are.”However, on the first blood donation day at the small animal clinic, the actual blood donation It was a coincidence that it happened. “That day, my dog ​​was typed and I was able to donate blood to another sick dog.” A moment. That was of course a good thing,” said Verhaan Beining.

Currently, the small animal clinic has 50 animals in its database, with the goal of increasing the number if possible. “Many people have large dogs and don’t even know that their dog could be a potential donor,” explains the doctor. The fact that not only humans but also animals need blood transfusions is not talked about enough. And of course, the data collected must be continually updated to provide optimal care to four-legged patients.

big dog helps small dog

There were only two active cases in the small animal clinic ward, which employs a total of 17 veterinarians. The female dog had to undergo a C-section to give birth to puppies. Unfortunately, the dog had blood clotting issues and required a blood transfusion.

The second case involved a four-legged patient in a clinic ward that can house up to 30 animals. The mutt suffered from an autoimmune disease that caused his immune system to destroy his own blood cells. As with dogs, this also caused anemia. “We fight autoimmune diseases with appropriate treatments,” says the veterinarian. “However, blood donations must fill the time until the body is able to produce its own blood again. This also applies, for example, in the case of tumor surgery or an accident due to damage to blood vessels in the abdomen.” . “Basically, there are more accidents in the summer than in the winter because more people are taking their dogs outside during the warmer months.”

Marco Verhan Beining runs a small animal clinic in Sottorum with his wife and sister-in-law.
Marco Verhan Beining runs a small animal clinic in Sottorum with his wife and sister-in-law. ©Private

In the event of an emergency, doctors first calculate the amount of blood the recipient will need and then consult a database to see which animals are the right size to be considered as donors. “The animals have to be quite large and have the same blood type,” says Verhaan-Beining. For example, a mutt with an autoimmune disease weighed 20 kg, while the donor weighed at least 50 kg.

Blood is then donated by puncturing a vein in the dog’s neck or leg and drawing the blood through a tube inside the food bag. Up to 0.5 liters of the red substance are collected, and the recipient also receives a blood transfusion through an intravenous catheter. Before and during the transfusion, it is carefully checked whether intolerance has developed despite typing. This is rare, but if it does, the process will be stopped immediately.

In fact, doctors have been thinking about organizing a blood donation day for a long time. However, due to the effects of the coronavirus, the project had to be suspended for a while. Although the campaign is currently underway, the clinic is pleased with its experience over the past year. “The atmosphere was very positive. “It’s completely different from when an owner comes to us with a sick animal. There’s no comparison.”

Feed and ice for animal donors

The campaign is free for donors, who receive compensation such as food and ice cream for the animals. “Then they stand on the table and are celebrated as heroes who save the lives of their peers,” the clinic manager said. Needless to say, both people and animals are in a good mood.

However, four-legged donors must meet certain requirements. As a general rule, only healthy dogs and cats are suitable, and donors should not come from Mediterranean or non-European countries. Dogs must weigh at least 20 kg, cats must weigh at least 4 kg, be between 1 and 8 years old, and be regularly vaccinated.

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