Daily Walrus - Helping People Help Animals

Dogs and Cats Can Be Blood Donors Too | February 25, 2008

On Saturday Night Live this weekend there was a cute joke during Weekend Update about Lurch, a 200 lb English Mastiff who won an award for donating the most blood this year to help out sick dogs.  It was interesting because Jenny had just read about dog blood donations online a few days earlier and suggested it for a Daily Walrus post.  After doing a little research, here’s what we found…

Injured or sick dogs and cats may need blood transfusions for many of the same reasons as humans.  One of the most common reasons is for the treatment of anemia.  There are several veterinary blood banks and schools across the country, and they are in need of more blood to provide treatments to sick animals nationwide. 

Many donation centers have weight requirements for dogs (60+ lbs seems pretty common), but smaller dogs may be able to donate smaller amounts at some sites.  It looks like cats should be above 12 lbs to donate.  Some sites or colleges will enroll you and your pet in a donation program that lets them donate every couple of months.  Some programs even offer small amounts of money, pet food coupons, or medical check-ups in exchange for donations.  If you are interested, ask your vet if they accept donations or know of collection sites in your area.  

For more info, check out the following links:

A Yahoo! news article on Lurch

Info from Washington State University on their dog (and cat) blood donation program

An online article that links to many donation sites accross the country

Info from the Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital


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About author

Hello - we are Jenny and Ryan, a couple living in Brooklyn, New York. We are both busy with school and work but try to take time to do something every day to make the world a better place for animals. Occasionally we may link to outside websites for additional resources, but we do not necessarily endorse all policies of these organizations. Despite the title of our blog, the focus is not only on walruses. So what's with the title? We named this blog after our cat, Wally, aka The Walrus. We are the proud parents of two cats (Wally and Tito) and one dog (Luigi).







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