An Oklahoma City Veterinary Hospital is asking pet owners to help supply cat and dog blood donations.
“I don't think that a lot of people know about blood donors for dogs,” said Kasi Womack, an ICU technician at Neely Veterinary Hospital.
Womack’s German Shepard has donated more than a dozen times.
“She is what's known as a universal blood donor. They're not that prevalent in the population,” she said.
“It does save lives,” said Dr. Sherrie Hodgson, who said blood transfusions are common at Neel, which is open 24 hours.
“A pet comes in and it’s lungs are white and it needs a blood transfusion. You cannot wait.”
Hodgson said normally the hospital’s supply of blood comes from blood banks and donations. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, blood bank shipments that normally take a few weeks have taken up to three months to arrive.
“Because the smaller blood banks have gone by the wayside since the pandemic, now the company we use is also shipping blood out more often,” Hodgson said.
Womack said meeting the owners of the dogs who receive her pet’s donations make the process rewarding.
“There's definitely been a lot of patients that have been able to walk out and live happy lives with their owners,” Womack said.
Cats and dogs between one and seven years old are ideal for donations, Hodgson said. Other preferences for donors include vaccinations, having been spayed or neutered, and being in generally good health.
Donors can learn more by contacting the hospital.