A province-wide shortage on donated animal blood prompted Victoria woman Kady Savard to take a unique approach to find blood for her friend’s dog, Angus.
Angus is a six-year old Rottweiler cross who was recently diagnosed with rare autoimmune disorder which causes his system to attack itself.
“He was just so lethargic, he got up and greeted his owners and then just teetered over and laid down,” Savard said. “He needs blood transfusions, and needs new platelets to help heal his system… his platelets are so low that if he plays with another dog and gets a scratch, he could just bleed out.”
Angus already received one blood transfusion at the Central Victoria Vet Clinic, the South-Island staple for blood donation and blood transfusion, which works in conjunction with the Canadian Animal Blood Bank.
He will need another transfusion, but his first round used the last batch of donated blood on hand. One more round has been ordered for Angus from out of province, and is scheduled to arrive Saturday.
“But, the vets told us that if a dog comes in with a more urgent need Angus won’t have anything,” Savard said. “Angus and his owners are like family to me. A long time ago, my dog got hit by a car… I had gone so far into financial debt from vet bills, that when they came in to ask for money to cremate the remains that I didn’t know what to do, and they stepped in and paid for it.”
So, Savard took to a local cashless trade Facebook group, This For That, in a desperate attempt to find a solution.
A screenshot from the Facebook group 'This For that' shows Savard's unique request. (Facebook/ This For That)
“I’ll cook you anything, I’ll trade relatively anything for some help,” Savard wrote. “I will cook bake sing you a song you can have any item from my post in trade just seek any helpful resources for [a] large dog blood donation.”
Eligible dog donors would be between one and eight years old, and weigh more than 55 pounds.
Dogs, like humans, have different blood types. These types are different than human blood, and are categorized into seven different groups, which can often be determined by the dog’s size. The most common type is the Dog Erythrocyte Antigen (DEA) 1.1. Usually, a donation collects 450-500 mls, and dogs are eligible to donate every three months.
The response to Savard’s post was overwhelming, with a dozen people stepping forward in the first two hours.
“This community is beautiful, the instant response warms my heart,” Savard said. “Everyone is so ready to support one another… anything is really possible, these small changes can make anything happen.”
Through the group, a registered dog donor was found as a reliable back-up in case Angus needs more blood.
While the Facebook group is a trade group, Savard said no one has asked her for anything. As a musician and performer, she hopes to be able to offer them tickets to any upcoming shows she’s either in or aware of.
She’s also hoping the kindness put forward by others doesn’t go to waste, and wants to work with the vet and the Facebook group members to organize an animal blood drive in case any other dogs need a transfusion.
“I really want to encourage as many people as possible to register their dogs to donate,” Savard said. “You never know when this will be necessary.”
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