A Life Saved Thanks to Two CASE Canine Blood Donors

April 26, 2023

Mack, a 6 year old Labradoodle, was recently rushed to CASE’s emergency department as he was experiencing symptoms associated with internal bleeding including weakness, pale gums, and having trouble breathing. In Mack’s case it would soon be discovered his symptoms were caused by a bleeding mass on his spleen.

Unfortunately, this can be common in older dogs and is a life threatening condition requiring emergent treatment. In many cases treatment for this condition can be as simple as having the spleen surgically removed to stop the bleeding. However, in Mack’s case, he had bled so much into his abdomen that he required three canine blood transfusions before he was stabilized enough to survive the lie saving emergency surgery at CASE veterinary Emergency and Specialty in Boulder, Colorado.

Wait… blood transfusion for a… dog?! Yes!

Like humans, dogs and cats have specific blood types and need a donor with matching blood. Luckily for Mack, he came to Colorado Animal Specialty and Emergency where we have a dedicated blood bank program and team working diligently to provide this type of life saving service to our community.

Due to his significant blood loss, Mack needed over a liter of blood during the first 12 hours in hospital, including during surgery, in order to facilitate his successful treatment and recovery. This means that he needed at multiple healthy dogs who could safely donate to him. Our incredible staff dog donors, Coho and Bear (owned by Hannah and Maggie), were up for the task! While Mack got his transfusions, his spleen was safely removed by our skilled surgical team, and he was able to recover comfortably under the watchful eye of our diligent ICU nursing staff.

Mack’s mass was sent off for testing and fortunately came back benign, which is great news, especially considering he is a certified therapy dog through Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response. Mack curtaining had a lot of important work to get back to and our team was honored to be a part of helping him return to work!

While our CASE Blood Bank donors are currently limited to staff owned pets, we are starting to open the opportunity for donor screening to the pets of family and friends. If you or someone you know has a happy and healthy dog or cat who you feel would be a good fit for our team of heroes please have them fill out this brief questionnaire.