Many people are surprised when they hear that cats and dogs can donate blood. AECFV has always had a blood donor program in place and it continues to grow as the need in our community does. Our blood donors are special to us and to the owners of the pets that they help. We wanted to share a bitter sweet story with you today.
Amber presented to us on April 12, 2017 for lethargy and anorexia. She was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP). This is an autoimmune disease, where (in simple terms) the dog’s immune system attacks and destroys its own platelets. As a result, there is then an insufficient number of platelets in the body, which causes the dog to have problems clotting and spontaneous bleeding can occur. Patients with ITP often receive one or more blood transfusions as part of their treatment. Amber received her first blood transfusion on April 12th (donor was Remy). Amber continued to fight her disease, and received three more blood transfusions throughout her 5 day stay in hospital (her other donors were Kaedo (April 14th), Delilah (April 15th) and Simba (April 17th). Although Amber was a fighter, the disease she was fighting was just too aggressive and she was not responding to treatments in hospital. Her owners made the decision to humanely euthanize Amber on April 17th, 2017.
Although Amber’s family was heartbroken, their gratitude towards the clinic staff and the Blood Services team was amazing. With our donors being posted on social media, Amber’s owner was able to show her kids which dogs had donated blood to try and help save Amber. She told us that being able to do that played a big role in being able to explain Amber’s disease to her kids. The kids wanted to do something to show appreciation for the donors, so they brought a goodie bag with dog treats and a hand written card for each of the donors. In addition, Amber’s owners forwarded the information of our donor program to some of their friends/family to encourage them to bring their dogs in to potentially become blood donors in Amber’s honor.
Below are the donors who did what they could to help Amber in her fight.
If you would like more information on the program check out our blood donor section on our website.