For those who have dogs as valued members of the family, excellent health care is always a necessity. The local and national pet care community now has another resource for accessing the best quality medical transfusion services for your pet. The Greyhound Health Initiative Blood Bank, a canine blood bank located at Riverside Animal Care Center in Dublin, Ohio, is proud to announce it has facilitated its first distribution of blood products through its newly opened facility. Through its mission as a registered non-profit organization, the Greyhound Health Initiative (GHI) “is committed to improving the health of sighthounds worldwide through education, research and accessibility to accurate diagnosis and treatment”. Through its Blood Bank, GHI is able to help meet its mission goals as well as helping all dog breeds. The GHI Blood Bank is now available to provide transfusion services safely and dependably to not only local pets (through their veterinarians), but also nationally to those needing blood products for critically ill dogs or those requiring lifesaving emergency procedures. Brian Collins, Executive Director of Greyhound Health Initiative states “We are very excited to bring this service to the veterinary community, to be able to assist all breeds while maintaining our focus on improving sighthound health. Our motto is: ‘Adopt a Greyhound so s/he can save many lives’.”
Because over 80% have a blood type that can be used for transfusions for all other dog breeds, have blood that is rich in red blood cells, and have a relaxed temperament during the procedure, Greyhounds make the most suitable donors. Greyhound owners who volunteer to have their hounds become blood donors will have their donor hound undergo a full checkup and lab work at each donation appointment. They will also receive free blood products for life, should they ever need it, as well as free heartworm, flea and tick preventatives for as long as they are active donors. The donation process for the Greyhound is safe, quick and relatively painless except for a small needle stick. The generosity of our blood donors make the GHI Blood Bank possible and for many the desire to donate brings a certain sense of satisfaction in being able to help in a critical time of need. An added benefit of the donation process is that blood samples are saved for current and future studies and research projects by GHI. In collaboration with IDEXX Laboratories (Westbrook, ME), we are prospectively storing blood samples from healthy Greyhounds to generate reference intervals for upcoming blood tests.
As an accredited 501©3 not-for-profit company, GHI remains diligent that all recovered funds from the GHI Blood Bank are used wisely in order to make it financially self-sufficient and we project within 12-18 months that it will cover all administrative costs of GHI. At that point it will allow 100% of financial donations to go directly into our programs which include, education, clinical research, the Four Legs for Hounds program which is currently working to help save racing greyhounds with severe, career-ending injuries that might otherwise lead to euthanasia, free chemotherapy for our members, and discounted medical consultation services for owners and veterinarians. Consults are available via phone and email which can be easily accessed through the GHI website.
The Greyhound Health Initiative and the GHI Blood Bank are very proud of the work being done as we grow as a valued, reliable and trusted resource for blood products and transfusion services and as a contributor to the health and well-being of canines locally and nationally. If you live in the Columbus, Ohio, area and are interested in having your dog become a blood donor or are a vet in need of canine blood products, please call (1-800-416-5156 x1).