I had blood cancer a while back. I received several blood transfusions and each time they saved my life. I suffered from anemia and continued to have to deal with it a year after I went into remission.
After I got cancer, I can’t donate blood. Obviously, no one would want potentially cancerous blood. So, I thank everyone every time I see someone give blood. Sometimes I donate the juice and cookies.
Even with my background, it never occurred to me that the same need is there for pets. Only their blood bank is even more depleted than it is for humans. So, very few owners allow their pets to donate blood. It doesn’t even enter our mind.
Kashmir also known as Kassy was rushed to the emergency a few days ago. My cat had been sick and struggling for a while but it was believed to be a UTI and not severe anemia. By the time I got her to the EV, she had practically no blood left and was very close to dying.
There wasn’t any blood. I was fortunate enough to have an awesome vet who knew people. She had one client who had a blood donor cat. I was lucky enough that this cat could give blood. The owner brought the donor cat in and saved Kassy’s life that night.
We aren’t sure what caused the anemia. Nothing really looks good. Kassy may be on borrowed time, but the donor gave us that time. Time to attempt to figure out what is going on and with luck, treat it so she has a nice long life.
There isn’t any doubt that I’ll have another cat in my future. I plan on my pets being a part of the blood donor program going forward. It is just sad that a beloved family pet has to be euthanized because there isn’t any blood. It shouldn’t have to happen.
It is made as easy for the pets and owners as it can possibly be. Actually, it is very similar to humans donating blood. The difference is the health screening is given to the animal not the blood. There is no cost to the owner.
The pet gets free blood work and health screenings! So, you know your pet is healthy for free. Potentially catch issues early if there are any. Your pet gives blood three times that first year. They don’t ever take blood from a potentially sick animal and they don’t take blood unless your pet has had plenty of time to recover from the previous donation. All animals are monitored during the process and after.
Next time you take your pet to the vet ask them about it or give them a call.
Kashmir is currently still at the EV. We don’t know what is going on yet. She is finishing up tests and hopefully tomorrow I can bring her home. I visited her today though and she is already back to her old self again. The vet suspects that the condition is chronic which means it won’t go away, but again we don’t know for sure. Time and tests will tell.