Man's best friends save a life through blood donation

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Rapid City, SD While most everyone knows humans can donate blood your fury best friend can also save a life through blood donation.

Dr. Heidi Bringman, Animal Clinic of Rapid City Veterinarian says, "So just like people, our pets sometimes need blood whether it can be from a traumatic experience or it can be from a disease ...We always have K-9 blood on hand."

Animal Clinic of Rapid City has around 8 dogs currently enrolled in the donation program who come in as needed to donate their doggy blood.

"Those clients that have signed up for it with their pets we try to schedule out and give them a 24- hour heads up letting them know that we need blood and we need their pet to come in and donate blood however sometimes that is not possible and a lot of our clients are really really good and if it is an emergency they will try to get their pets in as soon as possible" says Bringman.

Just like humans, man's best friend has certain qualifications they need to meet in order to be able to donate.

"2 -6 years of age they have to be healthy, no known diseases, no history of any major diseases previously in their life, they do have to be current on vaccines, they do have to be spayed or neutered, and they also have to be on monthly flea and tick medication and monthly heart-worm medication. they do have to be over 50 pounds as well" says Bringman.

And the process is pretty simple. The pup is usually sedated, then the vet and technician collect around 500 milliliters of blood through the jugular. After the dog wakes up, he is good as new.

Dr. Bringman says, "Once they are awake enough they do get a couple cans of a really high calorie food to try to replenish them because they are pretty hungry and just like a person their sugar is a little bit depleted from the sedation and from giving blood."

Once a dog is enrolled in the program they do get a years worth of flea, tick, and heart worm medication as an added incentive to the good deed.

Dr. Bringman says, "Its a great way to give back to the community its a great way to have your dog help other dogs and it's something cool that as a client you can feel good about what your dog is able to do and help others and then if you are ever in the situation where your dog needs blood it is kind of nice to know it is available."

If you think your pooch is a candidate for blood donation you can contact the Animal Clinic of Rapid City.