Pet blood donations: Donor dogs, cats help save lives of other pets in need

MADISON, Wis. -- We often hear of the need for human blood donors, but the same is true for dogs and cats that are sick or injured and need transfusions.

Many donor dogs and cats are making a difference for other pets in need.

Carlos the greyhound has an appointment at the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Care.

He comes here once a month, WMTV reported.

"Carlos has probably been a part of our program for about 2 or 3 years now," said Emma Doubleday, UW Veterinary Care blood donor coordinator.

He's not sick, but instead, he's there to help other dogs that are.

"Carlos is a great donor," Doubleday said. "One, he loves people. He loves coming in. He knows there's a treat involved and his mom says he talks the whole entire way in."

A retired race track dog, Carlos is one of 29 canines and 14 cats that donate blood regularly at the UW Veterinary Care blood bank.

They help other animals that need transfusions to stay alive.

"So vital because there's no replacement for blood, j Just like with humans," Doubleday said. "In our ICU right now, there is probably three other animals that could be using transfusions this week. We've already done five transfusions already this week. So, it's very vital."

Vital for dogs like Chauncey.

"It's still shocking. We just don't know how it happened," said Andy Uhl, Chauncey's owner.

Just a few months back, Chauncey got into some poison outdoors and nearly bled to death.

"He was very sick," Uhl added.

Using blood from the clinic's donor bank, doctors were able to give Chauncey several transfusions.

"He would have died. He would have died," Uhl sa8id when asked what would have happened without the blood transfusions.

Just a few months later, Chauncey is now back to being an active 15-month-old.

The Uhls are grateful for those who bring in their pets in to donate.

"It can potentially save other dogs' lives," Uhl said.

For Doubleday. it makes it all worthwhile to see donations from dogs, like Carlos, save the lives of dogs, like Chauncey.

"It's also good to see it all the way through. I know who it came from, I know who it went to, and I've said it before -- a little bit of my soul is in every single one of the donations and blood products," Doubleday said.

Carlos may be retired from the race track, but he's still a champion in Doubleday's eyes.

"He's a champion in this every day," she said.

Greyhounds are universal blood donors for nearly all other canines, but your dog doesn't have to be a greyhound to donate.