Written by Umamah Bakharia
Researches indicate that blood donor animals are saving the lives of other animals.
One of these centres is the Onderstepoort Animal Blood Bank which has been the saving grace of many dogs, cats and even prized stud sheep, horses and cattle in need of life-saving blood transfusions.
The Animal Blood Bank is based at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital of the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Veterinary Science.
Dr Yolandi Rautenbach, a senior lecturer at the Faculty and specialist in Veterinary Clinical Pathology in the Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies speaks to Radio Islam on animal blood donors.
“This is really a process where we have owners who bring in their animals to see if they are candidates for becoming a blood donor, these animals are then evaluated,” says Dr Rautenbach.
The donor centres try to make the blood defusion painless for the animals as well as blood typing to determine if the animal is an appropriate donor and compatibility testing.
“It is very similar to our human counterparts, however, we make extra effort to make sure that it is really an enjoyable experience both for the owner and the pet,” she says.
The donors are very species-specific depending on the animal. Usually, animal donor blood can be stored for 12 hours, however in some cases “stored old blood or packed red cells” can be stored for 21- 48 days respectively.
Animals are treated due to infectious diseases and poisoning.