We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

403.527.2829

Pet Blood Donors: Helping Other Animals in Need

Blood transfusions are just as crucial for sick or injured animals as they are for people. Without a ready supply of donated blood, animals may die unnecessarily. Thanks to the generosity of donor pets and their people, animals with severe health conditions or injuries can receive the blood transfusions they need.

When Are Blood Transfusions Recommended?

A blood transfusion may be needed if an animal experiences blood loss due to an accident, ruptured tumor or other cause; has severe anemia; has been poisoned or requires major surgery due to an illness or injury. Although human blood banks can be found in small and large towns alike, pet blood banks aren’t quite as common. If there are no blood banks close by, small private veterinary practices or veterinary schools may create their own blood banks.

Can Any Pet Become a Blood Donor?

Ask your pet’s veterinarian if he or she thinks your furry friend would be a good candidate for blood or plasma donation. If the veterinary practice you visit doesn’t have its own blood bank, the employees may be able to recommend one in the area. In some cases, local veterinarians collect blood for regional blood banks, ensuring that you won’t have to travel far if your pet becomes a donor. Dogs and cats aren’t the only blood donors. In rural areas, cows and horses may also donate blood.

Before your dog or cat is accepted as a blood donor, the blood bank or your veterinarian will consider these factors:

  • Health. Donors must be in good health and may not take any medications, other than heartworm, tick and flea prevention medication. All vaccinations must also be current. Pets may be prohibited from donating if they have ever received blood transfusions in the past.
  • Blood Type. The blood bank may also consider your pet’s blood type when approving new donors.
  • Age. Donation is usually limited to younger pets. If your pet is younger than 1 or older than 8, he or she may not be a good candidate.
  • Personality. Becoming a blood donor isn’t a good idea if your pet hates visiting the vet. Forcing a reluctant pet to donate blood can be traumatic and may make the process much more difficult.
  • Weight. Typically, cats must weigh at least 10 pounds and dogs 50 pounds, although weight requirements may vary. Outdoor cats aren’t eligible to donate blood.

What Are the Advantage of Blood Donation for My Pet?

Blood banks and veterinary practices may show their appreciation for donor pets by offering free examinations at every donation visit, giving you a copy of the lab analysis performed on the donated blood, informing you of your pet’s blood type and offering free services, such as complimentary vaccines or free or reduced-cost veterinary care.

What Happens During the Blood Donation Process?

A small amount of your pet’s fur must be shaved in order to allow the needle to be placed in the jugular vein in the neck. Although that sounds a little painful, most pets don’t seem to mind the needle. Before donations, cats usually receive a mild anesthetic, as they’re less likely to remain still for the donation. If your pet is awake, he or she will receive plenty of attention, and probably a few treats, from the veterinary staff. Some dogs and cats receive intravenous fluids after donations to ensure that they don’t experience a drop in blood pressure.

Your local blood bank or veterinarian’s office will determine how often your pet can donate blood. Some banks will ask you to bring your pet in for donations every six weeks for a year, while large banks may ask that your pet donate two or three times per year for several years. Donations are needed frequently, as donated blood has a limited shelf life and must be used within approximately one month.

Do you think your pet would make a good donor? Give us a call and we’ll help you get the process started.

Sources:

Petfinder: Can Your Dog Be a Blood Donor?

https://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-health/dog-blood-donor/

Humane Society of the United States: Life-Saves: Dogs Who Donate Blood, 11/20/12

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news/2012/11/blood_donor_dogs_112012.html

PetPlace: Animal Blood Banks in the U.S., 9/23/15

https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-health/animal-blood-banks-in-the-united-states/

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 403.527.2829. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, continuing with some surgeries, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, & closed on Sundays

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, please visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Crossroads Animal Hospital