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Cat blood donations give nine more lives

AAP logoAAP 8/12/2016 Rebecca Gredley

Cat owners in WA are being urged to volunteer their pets for blood donations to help with high demand for feline transfusions.

Murdoch University's animal hospital has set up a community blood donor program, and cats can donate between three to five times per year.

Senior lecturer in veterinary emergency and critical care Claire Sharp says the cats would ideally be at least 5kg, healthy, fully vaccinated and between one and eight years old.

"This procedure, while safe, does carry inherent risk because of the anaesthetic. Our experienced team monitor for complications before, during and after donation," Dr Sharp said.

"We also like to meet potential donors and their owners beforehand to asses their health in more detail, do some blood tests and learn more about their temperament."

In many cases, the blood is used to treat cats with anaemia, a life threatening condition that can be caused by blood loss due to trauma, infection with blood parasites or decreased red blood cell production due to kidney failure.

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