Cats And Dogs Can Give Blood Too And It's In Short Supply
Giving blood is an extremely rewarding experience because not only do you get a lolly or sugary drink afterwards, but you walk away knowing that you've just helped someone who desperately needs it.
But lots of people don't realise that the same system exists for animals like cats and dogs.
If an animal requires a blood transfusion, they need to get it from an animal blood bank, and supplies aren't exactly overflowing.
A recent study found 70 percent of respondents didn't know that animals could donate blood and a further 75 percent didn't know that animal blood banks existed.
Nearly nine out of 10 people said that they definitely would let their pet donate blood if they were suitable.
Study author Amelia Wilder said: "The general public's awareness of, and attitude to, canine and feline blood donation is poorly understood.
"Increasing understanding of pet owners' thoughts about donation may allow more effective blood donor recruitment.
"Awareness of animal blood donation and also the use of animal blood products could increase blood donor numbers and thereby blood product availability.
"This is an important starting point in understanding the opinions and awareness of the pet-owning population regarding pet blood donation."
The Australian Animal Blood Bank says animals are able to give blood only on the proviso that they fit a specific criteria.
Dogs must have have a good temperament and are willing to 'volunteer', weigh between 25 and 70 kilograms, are between the ages of one and six years of age and are in excellent health.
They'll be refused if they have had a serious health condition, have been sick recently (e.g. coughing, vomiting, diarrhoea), have been diagnosed with a heart problem, have ever had a seizure, have been vaccinated in the past 4 weeks and have received medications other than flea, tick and heartworm prevention in the past two weeks.
Pets won't be able to donate after they reach eight years old, after three unsuccessful donation attempts or if there are persistent abnormal blood tests.
But not only will you and your pet get the satisfaction of donating much needed blood, you'll also get a bunch of tests that will tell you more about your dog or cat.
That type of information can help alert you to any problems your pet has before any issues set in. Think of it as a GP check-up that doubles as a blood donation - it's a win-win situation.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS