The University of California, Davis, recently launched a new communitybased canine blood donor program through its School of Veterinary Medicine. In the coming year, about 1,200 dogs, including law enforcement canines, will be screened to identify a group of 200 to 400 regular donors.
While these furry friends are capable of donating blood monthly, they will be called upon two to three times a year. Housed in the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital on campus, the UC Davis Animal Blood Bank is the largest program of its kind west of the Mississippi River.
“Each year, the teaching hospital provides 200 to 300 transfusions for dogs to treat conditions ranging from surgical complications to kidney failure. This new donor program will allow us to develop a large, reliable source of blood products for our patients without maintaining a colony of donor dogs here at the hospital,” says Dr. Sean Owens, the blood bank’s medical director and head of the veterinary hospital’s transfusion.
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