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Cat and Dog Blood Donations Needed

Roll Up Your Paws!

Australian pet owners are being asked to volunteer their pets and help save lives with the Small Animal Specialist Hospital (SASH) blood bank in urgent need of dog and cat blood donations.

As 24-hour emergency and referral hospitals, SASH sees around 25,000 patients a year, many of whom require lifesaving blood transfusions.

Brooke Koster, a veterinary nurse and the Canine and Feline Blood Bank Manager, said “donations are urgently needed to fill the bank again after the busy summer season.”

“Coming out of summer, we ran through a lot of our supply supporting patients who had to be treated for a range of conditions such snake bitesrat bait toxicity, critical autoimmune disease patients, and ICU patients.”

Established in 2007, the SASH Blood Bank operates similarly to its human counterparts and began with staff volunteering their own pets for donations, to a now strong and growing regular donor list of over 100 dogs and cats.

These donors have saved hundreds of lives supplying blood to patients that without, would have very different outcomes to their treatments.

Jasmine the three-year-old Pomeranian was one of those grateful receivers.

After developing life threatening anaemia called IMHA (immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia), her own immune system was destroying her red blood cells. 

Treatment involved multiple blood transfusions and cutting-edge plasma exchange therapy from the SASH Dialysis Unit.

SASH is the first veterinary hospital in Australia to have a dedicated Dialysis Unit with purpose-trained veterinary specialists and expert nurses running extracorporeal therapies such as plasma exchange and dialysis. It is just one of the departments at SASH that frequently uses the blood bank resources.

Jasmine’s owner Dr Han Yen said, “We were very thankful for the team at SASH in the Dialysis Unit and the generous dogs who had donated blood which saved Jasmine’s life.”
“Jasmine needed about 5 blood transfusions and three plasma exchanges over the course of a week.”
Now on the mend, Jasmine has made an excellent recovery and her story showcases how important the blood bank is.

Dogs much like humans can donate every three months.

“We even have some owners that are on the same donation schedule as their pets making them both heroes in our eyes,” Brooke said. “We’re on the lookout for new regular donors who can join our donor program. 

We have a few criteria to make sure pets are safely able to donate like age (between 1 and 7 years old) and weight requirements (min. weight 14 kg and over 25kg is ideal) and for cats, we check that they have a good disposition.

“All our donors are given a free yearly vet check by the team at SASH as well as a blood screen test to make sure they’re fit and healthy before donation and they even walk home with a bag full of treats! As well as the pride that they’ve helped their fellow dogs and cats.”

Whether it is a one-off donation, or a regular contribution, your dog or cat can also become a life saver.

For more details, visit the website

Or please call the SASH Blood Bank team:

MEDIA RELEASE, 11th March 2022

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