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Blood shortages reported for Fido Blood banks in need of rare dog blood type

by Audra Ensign, News2 April 24, 2008 DENVER (KWGN)

— We often hear about the need for blood donations for humans, but what about animals? Right now, there's a shortage across the country of blood for dogs and cats. The shortage has one blood bank in Colorado seeking out four legged blood donors. Gizmo, the cat, donates his blood. "His blood what little he gives every time they take a donation is able to save another cat's life," said Teresa Ritz, Gizmo's owner. "They need blood transfusions for the same reasons that people do, whether it's trauma, dogs get hit by cars all the time," explained Rebecca Nusbaum of Hemosolutions. The animal blood bank said they have 300 animal donors but are still in great need for A-negative blood in dogs. It's the rarest type with only one in 15 dogs having it. And at this point, they said the country is running out. "If they don't get the blood, chances are they are going to die," said Nusbaum. Just one blood donation from a dog can save up to four different lives. And when it comes to the feline type they need to be sedated in order to give blood and because of that many owners aren't willing to volunteer their pet. "With any anesthesia there is a risk, and we are very up front with people, when their cat is going to donate," Nusbaum explained. But despite the risks, the blood bank wants to encourage pet owners to think how they would feel if their animal was in a crisis and there wasn't blood available for them. The blood bank offers blood screenings to find out what blood type your pet has. For more information visit HemoSolutions. Copyright © 2008, KWGN

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