Blood is the flow of life. It keeps us alive. Watching the morning sun with your pet, enjoying the evening walks with them or the mandatory nighttime cuddles, it’s all possible because they are alive & have something running in their veins. Blood.
Blood carries within itself components like red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes) and platelets (thrombocytes). Each of these have an important role to play & can save lives, if donated in time. And while blood donation in humans is widely known, it’s time we focus & learn more about blood donation in pets & bust the myths surrounding it.
Blood donation might sound scary when it comes to pets. And we understand that as a pet parent it can be difficult to process the situation as well. But it’s because of misconceptions, lack of knowledge & resources that allow the myths to spread their wings. And in order to set the record straight, these myths need to come out in the open & get busted by straight facts.
Team Wiggles was curious about the prevailing blood donation myths amongst pet parents. And to get into the depth of it, we decided to conduct a survey on our online pet parent community of more than 15k+ members, Wiggles Tribe on Facebook. We reached out to pet parents, shared the survey & encouraged them to participate. The survey on blood donation in pets was conducted between the months of July & August 2021 & when the results came out, we knew what we had to do!
Here are the results of the survey & blood donation myths that need to be busted.
Blood donation myths -
- Pets can’t donate blood
We couldn’t decide if it is a myth or this belief simply exists due to lack of knowledge, but pet parents didn’t know that blood donation is possible in pets as well.
Blood donation is absolutely possible in pets! Just like us, pets need blood to survive too. There are certain medical cases wherein blood donation by a pet can save another pet’s life. They can donate blood up to 10% of their body weight & the donated blood can be stored for 60 days which means that under favorable circumstances, your pet can even save 2 lives.
Nonetheless, the fact is that blood donation is needed in pets in the following cases -
- Tick fever
- Accidents or major surgery
- Canine distemper
- Blood transfusion
- Low hemoglobin & platelet count
- Parvoviral infection
- Blood donation will weaken my pet
This was another commonly believed myth that blood donation weakens pets since it involves the loss of blood from their body.
Just like humans, blood donation in pets doesn’t cause any weakness. In fact, once pets have donated blood, veterinarians provide them with a liver tonic that helps recover the amount of blood that has been donated. It strengthens their immune system as the body has to work to replenish blood equivalent to the amount donated. That’s why their immunity is at its peak for the next 48 to 72 hours.
Post donation, the pet is kept under observation for 2 hours & thereafter, your pet is free to resume their daily, normal activities. If your pet is healthy, they can donate blood after every 3 months!
- Blood donation will hurt my pet
A lot of pet parents also believe that the whole process can hurt their pets & cause them pain but it’s not true at all.
The process of blood donation in pets can seem to be excruciating but our veterinarians assure you that it is painless & quick. The veterinarians & their team of para vets & support staff is well equipped to help your pet to be at ease before the procedure can begin. They offer treats, toys, cuddles - basically whatever that will make your pet happy & stress-free!
Once your pet is relaxed & calm, the proper vein is identified & an IV catheter is attached to transfer blood to a specialized EDTA blood bag. This whole process takes 10 to 15 minutes only. Once done, your pet will receive a liver tonic with another round of lovin’ & kisses!
- Only dogs can donate blood
Pet parents also believe that blood donation is only possible in canines & that too within the same breed of dogs.
It is true that dogs can donate blood but it’s also equally true that even cats can! Blood donation is possible from canine to canine & from feline to another feline, regardless of their breeds. So, a golden retriever can be a good match for a German shepherd or a Persian cat can donate to a Siamese cat if their blood is compatible.
As pet parents, we know that your pet is your pride. You don’t want any harm coming their way & you have promised to protect them from what may come. But let’s not forget that this promise was also made by that pet parent who now needs blood for their ailing pet. Today, it’s someone else. But tomorrow, it can be you.
Blood donation is a life-saving, heroic act by your pet. And when they donate, someone else gets to live. And when this happens, they are invariably bonded by blood, forever.
So let’s bust these myths, empower ourselves with the right knowledge & let’s spread awareness about blood donation so that each pet can receive another shot at living a happy & healthy life!
Every year, countless pets lose their lives because they don't receive the right blood in time. Team Wiggles is trying to change this and needs your support.
#BondedByBlood is an initiative by Wiggles.in with an aim to create a repository of pet blood donors and connect them to other pets when they need blood. We urge you to register your pet as a blood donor and save the precious life of another pet. For more information, visit Wiggles.in or call us on +91 8431620000 and our team will answer all your questions.
*Disclaimer: This blog is vet-approved and includes original content which is compiled after thorough research and authenticity by our in-house team of vets and content experts. It is always advisable to consult a veterinarian before you try any products, pet food or any kind of treatment/medicines on your pets, as each pet is unique and will respond differently.