SLC dogs tested as possible blood donors

Posted at 7:14 PM, Jun 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-08 21:14:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY —  Dog owners and their pets helped veterinarians get one step closer to creating the first dog blood bank in Utah.

Dog blood used in the Salt Lake area comes mostly from Idaho Falls and California, but that could change as volunteers work to open a local alternative.

The Canine Blood Heroes held a blood typing clinic Saturday in the offices of Advanced Veterinary Care. The process for dog blood donors is similar to that of humans.

Dr. Adam Petersen, Advanced Veterinary Care, said the donor’s blood type must be determined and screened for diseases before a dog can donate. Those tests were the focus of Saturday’s clinic.

“Dogs have seven blood types, and we’re looking for one very specific combo of blood types—that would be similar to an O-negative in humans—that anyone can receive safely and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Kathy Kelly Huston was one dog owner who brought her pets in to be tested.

“I want to be able to see if my dogs in some way can help with another life,” she said. “They are both rescues. If they knew what was going on I’m sure they’d be thrilled to do that too.”

Related story: Canine blood bank seeks donors