India's 1st blood bank for dogs opens in Tamil Nadu
27 Apr 2010
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Hot Dog, the prankster black Labrador, is no longer a mere family pet but an icon. He became the first dog to donate blood as TN opened the country's first blood bank for dogs on Monday.
The facility, started by the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) and whose inauguration coincided with World Veterinary Day, holds out hope to owners of dogs who have found themselves in a fix when it came to their pets requiring blood urgently.
"There is a dire need for the facility because every week there are at least two cases that require blood transfusion," said TANUVAS vice-chancellor Dr P Thangaraju. So far, there was no blood bank for veterinary patients in the country, and lack of equipment for blood-typing, blood collection, storage, and also lack of donors were big hurdles for animals in need.
"Earlier the constraint was in blood typing, because just like in humans dogs too have various blood types and even a universal donor type. But now we have the equipments to do the blood typing so the facility is all set to draw and store blood for use," said Dr S Prathaban, director of clinics, Madras Veterinary College in Vepery, who is in charge of the blood bank.
Blood transfusions are needed in cases when a dog suffers from Ehrlicia canis infection, which destroys the red blood cells. Doctors assure that for any surgery to be smooth and for the patient to recover quickly, blood transfusion is necessary. They say that dogs constitute a major portion of patients visiting the hospital on university premises and that half of the 60 to 70 dogs that come for treatment suffer from hypoproteinemia, a condition that requires blood transfusion