NOW SIGNING UP NEW DONORS!
Why do we need canine blood? And why Greyhounds specifically?
Just like human doctors, veterinarians have to respond to emergency situations and illnesses where blood products can make the difference between life and death. The Greyhound Health Initiative is committed to educating veterinarians and the public on the life-saving uses of different blood components in domestic dogs. Our nonprofit blood bank will provide both the education and the blood products the veterinarians need. Did you know that Greyhounds are referred to as “universal blood donors”? While not technically accurate, it is true that 70% of Greyhounds have a blood type that allows their blood to be used in all other breeds. And Greyhound blood has additional advantages of being unusually rich in red blood cells, along with having lower than average white blood cells and platelets.
Our blood bank will supply blood products to veterinarians and emergency clinics to help them respond to emergency cases and everyday situations. The proceeds from these sales will help pay the administrative costs associated with running The Greyhound Health Initiative. That means a larger percentage of donations we receive will go straight to research and other programs. Ultimately we’re projecting the blood bank will cover 100% of our administrative costs, allowing 100% of donated funds to go to the dogs.
And, with every donor we see we keep blood samples to be used both for future research and to keep blood value reference intervals up to date; It seems that every time a new blood test comes out, Greyhounds like to fall outside of the normal reference intervals. So we’re partnering with Idexx Laboratories to establish those norms before the tests are available commercially, preventing additional testing, expenses and possibly an incorrect diagnosis resulting in unnecessary treatment.
So there are many good reasons we collect Greyhound blood! But possibly the most rewarding reason to become a blood donor is that your greyhound will help save the lives of other dogs!
Is it safe?
YES! If you’ve ever donated blood yourself, then you know there’s little more than a pinch when the needle goes in and no sedation is necessary. The Greyhound’s large veins and calm demeanor make them perfect for this procedure, which only takes about 10 minutes and they can either stand or lie down while a pint of blood is drawn from their neck — occasionally one will even fall asleep and maybe even roach while donating. Afterward the only sign they gave blood is a small shaved patch on their neck. These hounds can safely donate every three weeks, but we won’t collect their blood more than six times per year.
Benefits of being a Blood Donor
If your dog meets the requirements* needed to join the Greyhound Health Initiative Blood Donor Program, they will receive the following benefits at each donation appointment:
- FREE physical exam;
- FREE CBC (blood work);
- FREE chemistry profile;
- FREE serological tests for heartworm disease and tick-borne diseases;
- FREE blood products for life, even after ceasing to be a donor;
- FREE flea and tick preventative;
- Inscribed tag with Blood Bank name and dog’s blood type (this also acts as another form of identification at the time of donation);
- The knowledge that you are saving another dog’s life!
*The eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Your dog must be between 1 and 6 years old;
- They do NOT need to be a greyhound;
- They must weigh at least 55 lbs;
- They must be healthy, friendly and not be unusually nervous in the vet’s office;
- They must be on heartworm and flea & tick preventatives year round;
- They must be available to donate once every two months (6x per year);
- You must live within a comfortable driving distance to Dublin, OH. We cannot do remote blood donations.
Please call 1-800-416-5156 Xt. 1 to speak to one of our Blood Bank Technicians about becoming a donor.