Dogs give the gift of life at canine blood drive

The Detroit Free Press reports on how and why dogs give blood:

Pets lie on their sides for 5 to 7 minutes while blood is taken from their jugular vein, said Midwest licensed veterinary technician Becky Lucas.

“It’s a needle poke,” Lucas said. “We have one holder that’s holding their head. We have a second holder who gives them a belly rub. Most dogs will lay there with no problem.”

Each unit of blood helps two dogs recover, she said. Canines can donate blood once every 30 days.

“More of the animals we see, the owners themselves are blood donors and they think their dogs should help out, too,” Lucas said.

Midwest collects blood for dogs, cats, cows, llamas, goats and horses, Lucas said. “We have participated in collecting plasma from a snow leopard and a cheetah for other snow leopards and a cheetah,” she said.