Thursday, November 1, 2012

HOTLR Dylan Give Back

HOTLR Dylan donates blood to help a sick dog while
he patiently waits for his own surgery.
Many of you are probably familiar with Dylan’s story.  Desperately needing hip replacement surgery, Dylan has been the star of recent news about Heart of Texas Lab Rescue as we seek to raise money for his surgery.  

But there is another side to Dylan’s story.  Last week, while he was at Cypress Creek Pet Care, a 12 year old Lab named Lillie came into the animal hospital requiring emergency surgery.  Lillie had been diagnosed with a mass on her spleen that had ruptured and she was bleeding internally.  Growing weaker by the minute due to the loss of blood, Dr. Ray Bouloy and his veterinary technicians worked hard to stabilize Lillie for the surgery.  Lillie’s loss of blood was a major concern for the medical care team.  Lillie would require a blood transfusion to save her life.

Here entered our HOTLR hero Dylan.  While he patiently waits for money to be raised for his own surgery, he gave back to a fellow Lab by donating his blood to Lillie.  Sadly, Lillie’s owners made the difficult decision to euthanize her at the last minute before surgery due to her age and condition.  But Dylan’s efforts were not wasted.

In fact they bring to light a very important gift that we as Labrador guardians have to give - that of the gift of blood to save another dog’s life.  Everyday across the country dogs require blood transfusions for various illnesses and injuries, but sadly blood for transfusions is in short supply.  Some people don’t realize that their pet could even be a donor or that there is even a need.  However, Lillie’s story tells us how important blood donors are to the world of animal health.

Are you willing to allow your dog to become a blood donor to save another dog’s life?  In the Austin area, Dr. Scott Johnson of the Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin is the co-founder and president of the Texas Animal Blood Bank, a volunteer canine blood bank.  Below is a checklist of information on how your dog can become a donor:
  1. Over 50lbs
  2. Between the ages of 1 - 7 years
  3. Healthy & friendly - no medication except heartworm and flea preventative
  4. No history of serious diseases
  5. No history of blood transfusions
  6. No international travel
Your dog will first have it’s blood drawn to have it typed.  Dogs can have 12 different types of blood.  And like O negative for humans, some dogs have a universal blood type that can be given to any dog without many complications.  However, as the number of transfusions increases, the number of complications such as rejection increases as well if a dog’s blood type is not matched, thus the need for typing.

Next, your dog’s blood will be sent out to an independent lab for a complete blood count (CBC) and to test for any problems or infectious diseases.  Once this information comes back within normal limits, your dog will be scheduled for a blood donation.

A blood donation will be performed by placing an IV catheter in your dog’s jugular vein.  The blood will be withdrawn through this catheter.  The entire procedure should take approximately 30 minutes and is done without anesthesia.

There should be no side effects from the procedure, however, you will probably want to take your dog home and let him rest for 24 hours before exercising him.  A little extra TLC and maybe a special dinner might also be in order.

It's that simple.  Your Lab can become a hero just like Dylan and save another dog's life.

Check out this website for more info on canine blood donations:

To find out more information on how your dog can become a blood donor:
Please contact the Animal Emergency Hospital of Northwest Austin for more information.  They can be reached at (512) 331-6121.

To Donate to Dylan's Hip Surgery Fund: 
Go to and click on the PayPal donation button midway down the page.  Please put "Dylan's Surgery" in the description so we can properly thank you.