Bengaluru is looking for four-legged blood donors

Bengaluru is looking for four-legged blood donors

Satyanarayan Swamy with Don, who has been donating blood for four years.

Parents are signing up their pets, but the numbers are still too small

When you realise that a close family member is in need of blood, it’s natural to panic and contact everyone in your social circle to help. Over the last few years, we’ve realised that dogs also need blood and pet parents also frantically contact other pet parents to donate blood.

“There are no volunteers to canine blood donation. However, for the last couple of years, I’ve been running a database of pet parents who have listed their dogs as potential donors. There’s definitely some improvement from before, but there’s a huge demand for blood and we don’t have enough donors,” says animal welfare activist Mandy Vasudeva.

In spite of taking care of four-legged pets, they do tend to fall sick. It could be a life-threatening illness like anaemia, tick fever complications or blood loss due to an accident or trauma. In such situations, blood transfusions are what helps them recover.

Software engineer Satyanarayan Swamy’s pet, Don, has been a regular blood donor for four years now.

“I have had dogs in my house for 18 years and I didn’t know dogs could be blood donors. When I learnt about it from the social media, I was more than happy to help,” he says.

Since he does have a full-time job, he tries to be available during early mornings or late evenings to take Don to the vet’s office. He says, “I understand that it is a life and death situation and I am happy to help. I would be panicking if this was happening to Don.”

Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, trustee, CJ Memorial Trust and founder, Cubbon Park Canines, too had to ask around for blood for her dog JD.

“It’s great that social media now has a huge influence and thankfully that helped JD when he was in need. It was absolutely wonderful to see that there were about four to five candidates ready to help my pet. From what I’ve been hearing and seeing, people are more than happy to add their pet to the donor’s list. Unfortunately, many don’t know this is a possibility.”

In order to spread awareness, Priya and her team have been asking pet parents if they would like to add their pets to the donor list when they come with their pooches on Sunday to Cubbon Park.

Veterinarian Dr Lohith from Bangalore Pet Hospital advises, “There are only a few requirements that your pet has to go through in order to be a donor. They have to be at least 25 kg, healthy and above the age of one.”

“They can donate every three months. For first-time transfusions, the blood group of the dogs doesn’t have to match as they don’t have natural antibodies against other blood groups. The quantity of the transfusion depends on the haemoglobin and weight of the pet.”

Things to remember

  • The blood donation takes 20 to 30 m and can be done once in three months.
  • It does not make your pet weak. No special after-care diet.
  • Your dog will be in no pain or discomfort.
  • Dogs on supplements can also donate. Those on medication can’t. Your dog needs to be 25 kg to donate.

Sign up
You can register with the directory of Canine Blood Donors in Bangalore at pet clinics or get in touch with Mandy Vasudevan on her Facebook, Instagram or Twitter handles.