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17 dogs save canine lives by donating blood, get felicitated in Mumbai

A part of the BVC’s annual festival Spandan, the felicitation ceremony was held to spread awareness among animal lovers about the issue

mumbai Updated: Apr 07, 2018 23:34 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
A dog being rewarded at the ceremony.

When Rushabh Thakkar, architect, received a call from a veterinarian to donate his six-year-old Labrador’s blood, he readily rushed to the clinic to save another dog’s life.

The gesture was for ‘a good cause’, he said. “As our family loves animals, we decided to donate blood for a good cause. It also works the other way round. When Hugo needs blood, he would get it easily,” said Thakkar.

Thakkar’s Hugo was among 17 dogs who were felicitated by the Bombay Veterinary College (BVC) on Saturday for donating blood.

A part of the BVC’s annual festival Spandan, the felicitation ceremony was held to spread awareness among animal lovers about the issue.

“There isn’t enough awareness about blood donation for dogs, which is why we held this function. Every year, we organise the bravehearts felicitation for service dogs. But, this year we wanted to promote this cause because only 1% of pet owners opt for blood donation,” said Chiranjeev Pathak, general secretary of Spandan.

A dog is eligible to donate blood, if he weighs more 25kg, is older than six months, well vaccinated, free of parasites and ‘completely fit’. Ideally, it has been observed that dogs aged two to six years donate blood, most of whom are Labradors. Compared to four major blood groups in humans, canines have 13 blood groups. These dogs can donate blood around three times a year, and around 300ml of blood is collected in one transfusion

“Though, it’s been more than 10 years since the concept of blood donation for dogs started, there isn’t much awareness about it yet, and people are also reluctant because they are too attached to their pets. Dogs suffering from protozoal infection require transfusion regularly,” said Dr GS Khandekar, associate professor of Department of veterinary surgery and radiology, BVC.

First Published: Apr 07, 2018 23:34 IST