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Canine blood donation and bleeding fingers

Spike's World

One of the certainties of studying at vet school is that no one day is quite like another. This week was no exception as we jumped into the study of blood.

During our physiology practical session this week we had the fortune (or should that be misfortune?) to investigate the blood type and various clotting mechanisms of our blood.  To do so required two simple tools… a needle and our own fingers!

Despite the obvious downside of having to stab your own finger with a much too large-looking needle, it was truly amazing to see the various clinical tests that can determine blood type and clotting duration.

Blood typing

Blood type can be determined by adding blood to special testing liquids

Many of us are familiar with the idea of blood donation for people, but how many of us consider what will happen if our pet needs an emergency blood transfusion?

Much like people, dogs have many blood types – 7 in fact, therefore, having a large supply of blood is necessary to help as many pets in crisis as possible. If a donor dog can be found, then it may be possible to arrange a transfusion, but what if no donor is available?

In the UK, the charity Pet Blood Bank, plays a pivot role in collecting and storing blood for pet patients across the country and are always on the lookout for new, healthy donors.

If you feel your pet may be suitable and feel you’d like to help another need pet, please head to their website. You never know when your own pet may need the kindness of another donor, so why not sign up?