It is no surprise to see a man love a dog more than himself but it is even greater to see how dogs help each other. In a camp organised at Ohio State University’s animal clinic in Columbus, the students talk about how professors and students brought their greyhounds for blood donation.
It is so heartwarming to witness that greyhounds, who are dogs capable of high speed and were used in ancient times for hunting, are now saviors in today’s time.
Greyhounds’ have a special physiological trait in that their blood is so unique that it can help save the lives of other dogs.
There are eight different blood types in dogs but approximately 70% of Greyhounds have the type that enables them to be universal blood donors. Greyhound blood has a higher red blood cell count, lower white blood cell count and lower platelet count. This has made Greyhounds valuable as occasional blood donors at veterinary hospitals.
Depending on the weight of the dog a certain amount of blood is drawn, approx 450 ml. The donation takes 5-10 minutes. The needle is removed from the vein and a dressing is applied to the site of to help reduce the risk of bruising.
Spokeswoman Daphna Nachminovitch, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said
To think they are in good, loving homes and they have been rescued from a difficult racing life — that’s a positive thing.
She said the alternative was “animals that are warehoused in vet hospitals indefinitely and live in cages in order to give blood or, and it’s hard to say which is worse, animals who are basically kept in blood banks which often involve outside, continuous chaining or tethering”.
The Ohio State University donor program gets about 300-400 pints a year, with the blood used for in-house veterinary needs or sold at cost to veterinary clinics for $80 to $120 (between 5000 to 8000 rupees) per pint.