Tuesday 7th August 2018
The Animal Referral and Emergency Centre in Broadmeadow, Newcastle, is appealing to pet owners to consider registering their pets to donate blood. Being the Hunter Region’s only fully staffed 24/7 Emergency animal hospital, which supports all the GP (Daytime) vet clinics, our need for the precious gift of life increases as the warmer months approach.
Due to the nature of an emergency and referral pet hospital, we see many patients that require emergency blood transfusions. Trauma such as car accidents, rodenticide (rat bait) toxicity, or any number of diseases may all mean that a blood transfusion is required for our pets.
We rely on voluntary donations. Just like with humans donating blood, it is a relatively painless and simple process for your pet. We also try to make it convenient for pet owners whose dog is giving a donation, they can drop their pet off in the morning on the way to work, and pick up on the way home (after your dog has had a tasty treat to say thank you of course!).
However, the (blood) needs between cats and dogs vary significantly. The biggest difference, is that canine blood can be refrigerated and stored for a given period of time. Feline blood is a lot more difficult re storage. We therefore have a system in place where we have canine blood stored routinely for those regular emergencies we see here at AREC. But sometimes the need is greater than what we have stored. So we also have a register. This is where pet owners can list their details for us to contact in times of patient emergencies. We give pet owners the ability to nominate times and days of the week that you would be happy to be contacted. We understand, that even though we may be a 24/7 facility, you may not want to be contacted at irregular hours! This register is therefore especially important for our feline patients! As we can’t store feline blood, we need to have contacts and potential donor information ready.
Of course, for the health of our patients, there is a strict health criteria for donating pets. For all the information about requirements, and to complete an online form to record your interest in nominating your pet to be a ‘blood donor hero’, please refer to our blood donation page.
One of our more recent recipients was Max, a Labrador who, due to significant trauma after a car ran over him, required tail amputation and exploratory surgery – see our Facebook post (19/7/18) with (graphic) pictures. . In this instance, as our blood stores had already been used that night for another patient, one of our vet nurses brought her own dog Ramone in to donate (see picture below).
Media is invited to contact us for interview opportunities with both Dr Wendy Fisher and owners of blood recipient and donor pets. We are happy to conduct tours through the hospital.
Please contact Louise Carey (Marketing & Communications Manager 0400 056 326) or AREC 4957 7106