If you're a regular reader of my blog posts, you all probably know that being a blood donor is a pretty big deal for me. I'm hoping to get my 16 gallon pin with my upcoming donation on Valentine's Day. Every 2 months, Mr Johnson and I have a "date nite" at Mayo Clinic's Blood Donor Center. Their donor center is open evenings the 2nd Thursday of every month, so we plan for an evening out with a good meal at a restaurant and then go to donate a unit of blood from each of us. Our dessert that nite is the free cookies at the donor center!
So in keeping with the spirit of being a blood donor family, I decided (after reading some stories about blood donor dogs) to contact the local emergency vet clinic to see if they were looking for blood donor dogs and whether we could have Holly tested as a donor.
One of the articles I had read mentioned that bigger dogs, like boxers and German shepherds, were generally good candidates for being donor dogs and more likely to be positive as universal donors. Since Holly supposedly is a boxer mix (according to the information we received from the shelter), I thought I would volunteer her services as a potential donor dog.
Several weeks after the initial phone call, one of the vets from the Affiliated Emergency Vet Clinic in Rochester called me back and asked for more information on Holly and to schedule her to come in for some blood tests to see if she would be a compatible donor.
I wasn't able to accompany Holly back to the blood drawing area, but asked one of the technicians to take photos with my camera. I'm always so proud of Holly and how well-behaved she is at the vet and around people she's never met before. When the vet tech took hold of Holly's leash to go back for the blood draw, Holly just went right along with her -- without even a backwards "help, save me!" glance to me & her dad.
Holly is an exemplary patient! No squirming or fidgeting and never any worries about having to muzzle her either. I could hear the vet techs through the door and they were just adoring her. I'm sure Holly just loved all the attention!
So after a couple weeks (and right before Holly's birthday celebration on January 1st), we got the report we were hoping for. Holly's blood type was DEA1-Negative, DEA4-Positive, DEA7-Negative. The interpretation of that is as follows:
DEA4-Positive only (negative for all other canine RBC antigens) is IDEAL. Universal Blood Donor (can received blood only from dogs of the same blood type)
So Holly's now at the top of the emergency vet clinic's blood donor list! They were happy at the clinic to finally have a donor dog in the Rochester area with the ability to get the clinic within minutes should an emergency situation arise where a dog needed blood immediately. Prior to this, one of the techs would have to make a 2-hour round trip drive to the Twin Cities when blood for a transfusion was needed. And I was happy that Holly has the chance to be a blood donor hero and help save the life of someone else's beloved doggie. I think we are very lucky to have adopted this sweet pitbull mix from the shelter, don't you?