Blood Donor Program



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Blood Donor Program

The Greyhound Supporters of the NCR (GSNCR) is working with LifeStream (a veterinary blood products company based in Kingston, Ontario) to maintain a blood donor program for blood products for all kinds of canines. 

The donated blood is primarily used for plasma and other specialty blood products for general veterinary use (plasma for transfusions, some of the gamma globulins for treating certain diseases, platelets for haemophilia, etc).  

Blood products from our clinics have gone to emergency vet clinics all across Ontario, to such places as Barrie, Burlington, Mississauga, Oakville, Ottawa and Toronto.  Our donor hounds have helped dogs in the United States and as far away as Bermuda in the Caribbean.

Who can participate?

To be eligible, hounds must be 50 pounds or more.  In addition, they must be between 1 and 7 years of age, but they will make an exception occasionally for an 8 year old that is in exceptional health. 

Dogs may not be on any other medication except heartworm and flea prevention, nor have had veterinary intervention (including aesthetic) within the previous two weeks.   

How does the process work?

Hounds participating in the program will be expected to donate every 3 months (if an owner isn't available on a particular donor day, they can just be included in the next date).   It is hoped that owners will have their hound participate for at least a year if screened-in. 

350ml of blood will be extracted from your hound during each blood extraction.  The length of time to donate is about 20 minutes total per dog.  A schedule will be established so you will know at what time to bring your hound. 

The GSNCR will coordinate the blood donor clinics on an ongoing basis.  Individuals that have indicated an interest in having their greyhound participate in the program will be contacted via email about the day and time of the next scheduled clinic. 

What will I and my hound get?

The following is provided for each donor:

  • A complete blood count profile (CBC test) plus heartworm screening at each donation

  • Owners will receive a copy of the blood work (CBC, heartworm screening, etc.) for their own vets.

  • Complimentary blood typing and a blood type collar tag.

  • Complimentary canine blood profile testing for Babesia canis, Ehrlicia spp., Haemobartenalla spp, Lyme Disease, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF).

    • It should be noted that for the tick testing, the lab uses a DNA test, which will not test positive for exposure only (the ELIZA test - most commonly used - cannot differentiate between exposure and disease, but the DNA test does).  Dogs with active disease would be excluded from the program, dogs with exposure anti-bodies would not.

  • If your dog requires a blood transfusion, the blood products will be provided at no cost to your veterinarian, for the lifetime of the animal.

Will this procedure upset my greyhound?

The LifeStream vet techs work very hard to ensure that your hounds are not stressed during the blood extraction process.  Your hound’s leg will not be shaved, in fact, the needle is not even taped to the leg.  The whole process is very non-invasive, and some hounds have been know to fall asleep during the procedure. 

Greyhounds that are very shy, or that would not be comfortable with strangers handling them should be excluded from this program, as hounds that are unwilling will not be forced.  The owner is welcome to stay with their greyhound, unless they choose not to.

Are you interested?

If you are interested in having your hound participate, please let Laura know at 613-216-8097 or via email.  Please don’t hesitate to contact her with any questions or concerns. 

GSNCR • 3 Sage Crescent • Ottawa, ON K2J 1Z7 • phone: 613-216-8097 • Cell: 613-291-9025

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