Just as people have a dire need for blood donations, dogs and cats too require the life-saving materials.
Dog and cat owners in Las Vegas regularly bring their pets to the Las Vegas Animal Blood Bank at Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care to make that donation.
Every couple of months, Roger, a boxer owned by Samantha Raymond, enters the clinic to give blood. Raymond first heard about animal blood transfusions when her last dog was in need of the service following a medical procedure. Raymond knew she had to pay it forward.
“I’m so glad that we can help others,” Raymond said. “I can’t imagine how I would have felt if my last dog could not have gotten the help that he needed from another dog.”
Roger has donated for almost two years.
The blood bank gives animals in the Valley access to life-saving blood products. For all of the good work it does, the blood bank is in need of more donations and newer donors.
“Since we are supplying for all of Las Vegas on top of ours, the demand is pretty high,” said Kelly Tantalo, technician Supervisor at the blood bank. “So, right now, we have several blood donors currently, but we need a lot more so we’re definitely looking for quite a few.”
On a daily basis, the clinic conducts several blood or plasma transfusions, assisting cats and dogs with anything from trauma cases to general recovery.
Some of its donors have retired from the program, making a new class of donors more important.
“We have to retire our donors once they turn eight years old, so we lose a lot of them because of that,” according to Tantalo. “That’s kind of where they’re at right now, is just trying to find those newer ones those younger ones so we can have them for their eight years and have them help out.”
In order for a canine to donate, the animal must be current on vaccinations and not currently on medications with the exception of heart worm prevention.