Doggie donors a pooch’s best friend

Great Southern Herald - - Front Page - Saskia Adysti

Katan­ning Vet­eri­nary Clinic is one of just a hand­ful of re­gional vets that of­fer dog blood-donor ser­vices. Prac­tice man­ager Kristy Quar­ter­maine’s dog Freck­les is a reg­is­tered donor and has al­ready saved an­other dog’s life.

Kristy Quar­ter­maine has reg­is­tered her dog as a blood donor ever since he was 12 months old and would like to en­cour­age more dog own­ers to do the same.

Her bull mas­tiff dog, Freck­les has had the op­por­tu­nity to save an­other ca­nine’s life — he do­nated his blood to a lit­tle shih tzu who was ad­mit­ted to Katan­ning Vet Clinic due to rat bait poisoning.

“Her blood count was low and her gum was all white,” Mrs Quar­ter­maine said.

“With­out the blood trans­fu­sion she wouldn’t be able to sur­vive.”

Leanne Pierre-Hum­bert, a vet­eri­nar­ian who prac­tises around the Ko­jonup and Katan­ning area said the most com­mon blood trans­fu­sion case hap­pened be­cause of rat bait poisoning.

Just like hu­mans our ca­nine friends also have dif­fer­ent blood types, but Ms Pierre-Hum­bert said that most dogs would be able to re­ceive blood from any type of dog dur­ing their first trans­fu­sion.

“You can get away with one trans­fu­sion with­out cross­match­ing as a life­sav­ing pro­ce­dure,” she said.

“But any fur­ther trans­fu­sions you wouldn’t be able to cross-match.”

Un­like hu­mans’ blood, ca­nine blood doesn’t have the ca­pa­bil­ity to be kept for long-term stor­age. There­fore most peo­ple would call up a friend or fam­ily mem­ber who owned a dog for a blood trans­fu­sion pro­ce­dure.

“We have a list in Ko­jonup and we go through the list to call dif­fer­ent own­ers if they can come and do­nate their dogs’ blood,” Mrs Quar­ter­maine, who works as a prac­tice man­ager at Katan­ning Vet Clinic, said.

Cur­rently there are more than a dozen res­i­dents around Ko­jonup and Katan­ning who are on that list.

Ms Pierre-Hum­bert said that even though most dogs were able to re­ceive any other dog’s blood dur­ing their first trans­fu­sion, she said only spe­cific types of dogs would be able to do­nate their blood.

“We’re look­ing for a spe­cific type of dog to do­nate blood, so we won’t put any risk to their own lives,” she said.

“No pup­pies, no over­weight dogs, no dogs above nine years old and we would pre­fer dogs who are mainly around 26 ki­los plus, as they’ll be strong enough to do­nate a lot of their blood.”

Pic­ture: Saskia Adysti

Kristy Quar­ter­maine with Freck­les. Pic­ture: Saskia Adysti

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