Canine blood bank opened at Sydney University

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blood bankThe vet school at Sydney University has recently created a blood bank for dogs to fill a depletion in stocks created by the closure of their Melbourne supplier.

Creating a new blood bank recently became a priority for the Sydney University Veterinary Teaching Hospital when the similar Melbourne university program closed their blood bank, leading to dire lows in canine blood supplies.

With dog ownership including two in every five Australia homes, sizeable canine blood reserves are needed to meet increasing demand. As summer heats up, demand can only escalate with the surge of pets hurt in bushfires and poisoning incidents.

The canine blood bank operates in similar fashion to its human counterparts’, says Dr Christine Griebsch, a small animal specialist from Sydney University’s vet program. “The success of the program is dependent on the availability of suitable donors.

“Dogs can donate if they meet various criteria, including being fit and healthy, between one and eight years of age, and at least 20kgs.  A suitable donor can donate blood every three months.”

Griebsch was hopeful that the blood bank would help support the various facilities the school supports. “We are pleased to have achieved this important milestone,” she said. “In addition to a general practice, the clinic is a referral centre for other veterinarians to send complex cases, and a teaching hospital for veterinary science students to learn the practical components of veterinary care. The development of a blood bank was a logical step for a world-class facility such as ours.”

Griebsch encouraged local dog owners to bring their pets in for donation, citing the benefits for both the donors and the dogs they will help.

“Our emergency service will of course rely on the blood bank which is another reason why this initiative is vitally important. We encourage dog owners to consider participating in our program. Whether it is a single donation or a regular contribution, their dog will become a life saver.

“A thorough physical examination is conducted before every donation; therefore, regular donors are getting check-ups by veterinarians much more frequently than most dogs.

“As a token of our appreciation, participants are given a $100 voucher that can be redeemed on food or consumables.  In addition, donors are provided with a choice of a K9 Life Saver collar or leash to acknowledge their valuable contribution.”

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