Like humans, animals sometimes need transfusions quickly ? and only the blood from an acceptable animal blood donor can save their lives.
The Milus’ Veterinary Blood Bank (Weterynaryjny Bank Krwi im. Milusia), located in Warsaw, is the only animal blood bank in Poland and has been in operation since 2003.
The bank has modeled itself from similar institutions in the U.S., where the world’s first animal blood banks were created.
The Milus’ Veterinary Blood Bank is constantly being developed to meet the needs of the advances in veterinary medicine, the daily newspaper Metro reported. In fact, the bank has gathered monthly blood donations from over 100 healthy animals.
Recently, it has opened several branches in various cities across the country ? in Lublin, Torun and Wroclaw, thus making the blood available to veterinarians almost everywhere in Poland 24 hours a day.
The bank has been to known to be very accommodating to pet owners: accepting every dog weighing more than 26 kilograms and every cat over 4 kilograms as donors. According to reports, large dogs make the best donors. German shepherds, for instance, can more easily part with a pint of blood than a poodle. For the safety and accuracy of the transfusion, each dog is screened for health and blood type. After the generous donation, honorary animal blood donors receive high-powered food and a free medical exam.
According to veterinarians, it is possible to draw 450 grams of blood from a dog and 50 grams from a cat once every three weeks. Each process takes approximately five minutes. Afterwads, the blood can be stored and preserved for a maximum of six weeks, therefore, the bank necessitates donations regularly.
Most of the blood is given to dogs suffering from haemophilia, septic wounds, abscesses or those which have eaten poison. There are some cases when blood is used for transfusions during surgery or hemorrhage.