Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Boiler Vet Camp III

 Blood Bank!

     One of the exciting activities I did at vet camp was visiting and learning about a animal blood bank. Before, I never knew that there was such a thing as a blood bank for animals, and that it is very similar to a human blood bank. Blood transfusions need to match the species and blood type of the animal before it cam be used. As with humans, dogs and cats have A, B, and AB blood types. Also, there is a size limit on dogs and cats that can become donors. For example, large dogs are the ideal candidates for donation because they can deal with losing the blood whereas a little Chihuahua would be sucked dry! (Not really, major exaggeration but it still wouldn't be good) Cats should be about 20 pounds or more. For dogs, Greyhounds are ideal because they have a high percentage of blood compared to their size so they can give more. We didn't get to see blood being taken live because the stress that would put on the dogs wouldn't be safe since they are supposed to be calm. Instead, we saw this pretty amazing video and saw how many treats these dogs get when they are patiently waiting for their blood to be collected! Each dog is trained prior to their first time giving blood so everything goes smoothly and the animal doesn't freak out because of all the strange equipment. In addition to learning about a canine/feline blood bank, we also got the chance to dissect pig hearts! It may sound disgusting, but it was really interesting to see all the different chambers, veins, and  muscles in the heart. The technology was amazingly high tech, with flat screens everywhere with a camera on the instructor so we could see what she was doing so we could attempt to do the same on our own swine hearts. In the pictures, we are hanging out with one of the donor dogs who helps save lives! He is actually a foster dog who is looking for a permanent home! Hopefully by now he has found one!

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