Calgary vet's blood drive for dogs to address 'big need'
‘Hit by cars, dog fights, any situation where we have a very rapid loss of blood,’ vet tech says of need
UPDATE: As of Friday afternoon, there was only four spots left for the blood drive. The Calgary clinic is considering making it a regular event after receiving such a good response.
A Calgary vet centre says they are hoping for a good showing at an upcoming dog blood donor drive, because the need doesn't always line up with a supply that can fluctuate — especially during the summer.
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Laura Law, a vet technician at Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre, says people might be surprised to learn how often canine blood is required.
"There is quite a big need," Law said.
"They are probably 10 dogs here that belong to staff that can be used for donations. You can give every three months if needed, so we like to reserve them for a real emergency basis."
She says there are many scenarios that can lead to a dog showing up at her office.
"Hit by cars, dog fights, any situation where we have a very rapid loss of blood," Law explained.
"We can also see conditions that result in chronic blood loss, so over a period of time."
Edger is one of those staff dogs that is always there to lend a vein.
"Edger has donated a number of times, sometimes in the dead of night. Coming to help any patients from our Chihuahuas to Great Danes," she said.
Caitlin McLagan, a veterinarian doing an internship at the centre, says there is one breed of dog that is usually the best for giving blood.
Greyhounds tend to have the type of blood that any dog can receive, McLagan explained.
"That is typically the blood product in most demand."
The centre is hoping to have at least 20 dogs signed up for the blood clinic, which takes place June 12 at 1802 10th Ave. S.W.
With files from Andrew Brown and Monty Kruger