Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Got Blood?

This week Monday visited Iowa Veterinary Specialties (IVS) to take a blood type test to find out if she could be a canine blood donor. IVS supports the Canine Blood Bank of Central Iowa which serves veterinarians throughout Des Moines and the surrounding areas.

Blood. It's in you to give.

Before Monday could take a blood type test, she had to meet the basic standards:
  • In good health
  • 50 pounds or more
  • 2 to 4 years old (can donate until they are 8 years of age)
  • Gentle and calm disposition
Monday meets all those requirements so I scheduled a blood type test and we hiked down to south Des Moines for the procedure.

You're somebody's type.

The universal donor type for dogs is A-, so of course that is what we were hoping Monday's test showed. It usually takes about ten minutes to run the test after the blood draw. Monday was great for her blood draw and a big hit with the staff. Her first type test showed some unusual results. It was mostly showing A+ but had some irregularities, so they did the test again. The next test showed the same thing so it was concluded that she was A+. Bummer.

Who can resist that sweet face?

On our way home, IVS called me and told me that they ran another test using a different batch of test kits. The results were abnormal enough that they weren't satisified with the original ruling of A+. Sure enough, she came back a strong A- on that test with no irregularities. The first batch of tests used was considered bad and thrown away. So YAY, Monday can be considered as a candidate for donation.

The first of the bad tests

Go for a run in another's veins.

If a dog is A-, IVS will then schedule a comprehensive physical examination with their internist and have a full blood panel run. Just to make sure they are as healthy inside as they look on the outside! Monday's physical and blood draw is scheduled for the last week of November. I should know in early December whether or not she'll be able to be a canine blood bank donor.

Donate! It is a bloody good job.

I was told that blood donation is a very safe procedure for canines. Large dogs (over 50 pounds) can readily donate up to 450 ml of blood every 8 to 12 weeks. So Monday would be able to donate about every 2 months for the next 4 years. That's a lot of blood!!

They do two things with the blood once it's collected. Whole blood is primarily utilized and refrigerated. However, some of the blood is spun down to seperate the plasma from the cells. This is then stored in the freezer until required. Those cells are used to treat a variety of blood disorders, like hemophilia, accidental rat poisoning, and hemorrhaging from trauma.

Hopefully Monday will be able to help save lives through donating starting next month! Check out IVS's website for more information:

Blood is that fragile scarlet tree we carry within us. ~ Osbert Sitwell

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