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Blood Bank At UC Davis Aims To Save Pets Lives

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A vet examines a cat.  (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

A vet examines a cat. (Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

DAVIS (CBS 5) – Blood banks for dogs, and all types of animals from cattle to ferrets, have become more common in the United States as well as Europe and elsewhere.

Bruce and Debbie Gross, of Fairfield, were devastated when their 9-year-old dog Tori was diagnosed with lung cancer.

The Champion Weimaraner underwent surgery to treat the disease at UC Davis’ Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. Tori required a blood transfusion during the procedure, a transfusion that was made possible by canine blood stored at the UC Davis animal blood bank.

“Everyday it is being used here for all the same reasons that humans need blood,” said Lab Manager Julie Burgess. “We have dogs that come in with trauma, you name all the reasons we need it, they need it as well.”

Many veterinary schools have set up volunteer blood donor programs. Having dogs come in to donate has eliminated the need to keep donor dogs on site for veterinary hospitals.

The requirements for dog blood donor at UC Davis include that the dog be between 1 and 8 years of age, at least 55 pounds, in excellent health and, if female, never having been pregnant. Dogs must also be on heartworm and flea preventative.

UC Davis currently has about 70 dogs donating blood regularly. Dogs who do donate receive blood transfusions for life at UC Davis.

Unfortunately for the Gross family, the transfusion was not enough to save their dog.

If you would like more information contact the UC Davis Veterinary Blood Bank, email caninebloodbank@gmail.com

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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