.Tara Labas, a Cedarwood Veternary Hospital employee, looks into the facility’s fridge which contains only one bag of dog blood. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff)

National dog blood shortage impacts Red Deer animal hospital

A recently reported shortage of canine blood in Canada has far reaching impacts, including for dogs in Central Alberta.

Red Deer’s Animal Emergency Hospital does purchase blood from the Canadian Animal Blood Bank, who had recently reported the national shortage.

But the hospital located in Red Deer’s north end also relies on a small group of donor dogs.

Tara LaBas, who is responsible for donated canine blood at the Animal Emergency Hospital, said they use about three bags a month from the CABB.

“That’s definitely gone up,” she said. “It’s been hard to get from them (CABB). We’re trying to increase our program.”

The CABB, a national charity, collects and distributes up to 100 units of canine blood to veterinary clinics across the country every week.

CABB has two permanent locations, in Edmonton and Winnipeg, but also operates donor drives at veterinary clinics throughout Canada. All clinics held in Edmonton take place at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. It is a not-for-profit organization supported by the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association and Red River College, in Winnipeg.

To donate, dogs need to be more than 55 pounds (24.94 kgs) between the ages of one and eight years old, have current vaccinations and an even temperament.

LaBas said dogs can only donate blood once every eight weeks. On Wednesday, the hospital only had one bag of donated blood, but could draw on its smaller local base of donors.

“There definitely is a shortage,” said LaBas. “If we get emergencies, that blood goes very quickly. I try to have a bag of blood in the fridge at all times.”

The blood can be used for “trauma patients,” LaBas said or there are some illnesses dogs can get that would require a blood transfusion.

LaBas also said Christmas can be a time when emergency animal hospitals need more blood.

Clinics in Edmonton and Calgary held five donation drives last weekend to help increase the supply of blood at the CABB. According to CABB, one donation of blood can save up to three dogs.



mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

More ambulances are needed in Red Deer to handle inter-hospital patient transfers, says mayor

‘Code reds’ — meaning all city ambulances are in use — happen monthly

On the ropes: The Red Deer Boxing Club wants to expand, but is stymied by back-alley location

The club’s founder is looking for other site options, sponsorships

NDP speak out about future surgery access for women

Surgeries called “limited clinical value”

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Einarson, Homan, Jones frontrunning at Tournament of Hearts

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Manitoba, Ontario and the Jennifer Jones wild-card team… Continue reading

Feds hope to meet with Wet’suwet’en chiefs and negotiate end to blockades

OTTAWA — Traditional chiefs from British Columbia at the heart of the… Continue reading

Ponoka selling its airport to flying club

Agreement is for 25 years with option to buy back

Disturbances prompt Wetaskiwin to close emergency shelter

Citing increased threats, assaults, vagrancy and other crime, the City of Wetaskiwin… Continue reading

Blockades expose a polarized nation

The political response to Canada’s blockade crisis so far has been to… Continue reading

Canada hosts Lima Group, appeals for world’s help on Venezuela crisis

GATINEAU, Que. — Canada and its Western Hemisphere allies are calling on… Continue reading

Trump ally Roger Stone sentenced to over 3 years in prison

WASHINGTON — Trump loyalist Roger Stone was sentenced Thursday to more than… Continue reading

Most Read