We all know blood donation saves lives. Three of my dogs have been donors for the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank for several years. Even though they love it for the peanut butter and snuggles, I have seen blood donation first hand and what it can do.
His name is Badger. A cute 2 year old whippet who one day was not acting like his normal bubbly self. He became more and more lethargic and we noticed his gums were pale. After a visit with his veterinarian, we soon learned that Badger had Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia or IMHA. IMHA is a disease where the immune system attacks the red blood cells causing anemia. One way to assess the amount of red blood cells in the body is to run a blood test called a PCV or packed cell volume. A healthy dog will have a PCV between 35-55%. Although, he was immediately put on medications, Badger’s PCV fell to 13%. His only chance to survive was a blood transfusion. I remember the day we took him to the hospital to receive his transfusion. He was barely able to walk and his gums were white. He was so depressed. It was difficult to see him so sick.
Two days later, we were able to pick him up from the veterinary hospital. What a difference the blood transfusion had made! He was brighter and even able to trot out of the veterinary office much more like his usual self. Like most dogs with IMHA, we do not know why he developed the disease. With oral medications he is now able to live a normal life.
A few months after his blood transfusion, Badger found his forever home. He currently lives with 2 other whippets and is a normal healthy happy dog… all thanks to a canine blood donor.
When my dogs donate blood every 6-8 weeks, I think of Badger- a sweet little whippet who was given a second chance at life.
-Julie Fulghum, RVT at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital
Click HERE for more information on how your dog can be a life saver to dogs like Badger.