Chennai: Now help is at hand for critically ill dogs requiring urgent blood transfusion as the country`s first blood bank for dogs has been set up at the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences (TNVASU) University here.
"We have set up the country`s first high-tech blood bank unit for dogs in our campus," TNVASU Vice-Chancellor Dr P Thangaraju told reporters.
The university had already registered 28 donors, he said adding during the last one week since the bank started to function ten blood transfusions for dogs had been performed.
Blood transfusions are commonly needed in cases when a dog suffers from diseases like Ehrlicia canis infection, which destroys the red blood cells.
Thangaraju said there were totally eight blood groups for dogs out of which DEA1.1 -ve type is the most significant as this blood can be donated to any other dog.
TNVASU Director of clinic Dr S Prathaban, incharge of the blood bank, said the lab comprises a blood collection cell, screening device, that would monitor for any diseases in the blood of a dog, a device that would determine the blood type and high-tech storage unit facility.
Prathaban said the varsity had overcome the constraint in blood typing with the availability of hi-tech equipment.
Dogs aged between one and eight years old were eligible to donate blood for a maximum of four times a year.
Besides for treating diseases, blood transfusion was also necessary in dogs that need surgery for tumour.
Dogs constitute the majority of the animals brought to the veterinary hospital in the university campus and half of the 60-70 dogs that come for treatment suffer from
hypoproteinemia, a condition that requires blood transfusion.
An animal may also need blood transfusion in case of shock, infection, severe anaemia and spleen injury, he said.
He said the blood is collected from dogs from the jugular vein by clipping a small area on the neck side. For friendly, co-operative dogs, no sedation is required while for the
unco-operative and restless, blood collection will be done under sedation.