St. Louis, Missouri – You wouldn’t typically think of your pet needing a transfusion to keep them alive. Just like humans, animals sometimes need a little help in the form of blood either due to some form of trauma, during surgery or some other reason. Unfortunately, the need for animal blood is usually urgent and so you can’t wait to send out for the needed blood.
“It’ll definitely save lives…you know, change something that can be life threatening into something that can be immediately treated,” said Dr. Marcy Hammerle, a Pet Doctor veterinarian, who’s starting the blood bank. In an emergency, it doesn’t matter what kind of technology or skill you have, you still need the blood and its components or the animal is going to die.
Before the blood bank could even be stocked, it had its first customer on Monday night, a 9 day old kitten named Minos that was found by Dogtown resident Kate Hunt. “He was very dark and very wet and cold and tiny, and I had to look at it closer to know what it was,” Hunt said.
“He did not get any milk from his mother they believe, and so he doesn’t have any antibodies to fight off diseases or parasites,” said Hammerle’s assistant. “We’re actually going to do a little transfusion of serum,” Hammerle said, as his assistant drew blood from a donor cat, a live in pet at the clinic. “Sometimes just having it (blood) on hand can make the difference in saving a pet’s life, instead of having to drive somewhere and get it or order it in,” Hammerle said.
The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Bank and the Pet Doctor are teaming up for the “People Helping People, Pets Helping Pets” blood drive. Both pets and their owners can donate blood to save lives. The Pet Doctor will be screening dogs and cats as potential donors. “That’s very cool,” Hunt beamed.
“Blood is needed of all types and sizes, 2-legged, 4 legged,” smiled Charles Lucier of the MVRBC. “Maybe they bring their pet out to do it, they’re there too, so come out and donate some blood with us as well.” “I don’t know why something like this hasn’t been sooner, it makes perfect sense…I’ll give it a try. If Minos can do it, then I can do it,” Hunt said.
For a pet to be a donor it must meet minimum size requirements, be spayed or neutered, have a good disposition and be in good health. The pet blood drive will be held on Sunday May 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Pet Doctor clinic in O’Fallon, 3046 Winghaven, just north of Highway 40.