Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
The BluePearl veterinary hospital network is appealing to pet owners to consider donating blood from their cats and dogs due to a significant shortfall.
BluePearl, which operates 11 pet blood banks from Florida to Washington State, reported that donations fell by 19% in 2020, possibly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Changes to hospital processes, increased wait times and/or safety concerns are likely to have discouraged clients and their pets from participating in local blood donation programs amid the pandemic,” the company stated.
A spike in both pet ownership rates and veterinary visits in 2020 heightened the demand for transfusions, said James Barr, DVM, DACVECC, the chief medical officer at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospitals.
“To supply veterinarians around the country with sufficient blood, we simply need more dog and cat donors,” Dr. Barr said. “Today, as we look to pets for companionship and comfort, and the human-animal bond proves to be stronger than ever before, it is important to think about the ways in which pet ownership positively impacts our world. Pet blood donation is one of the best ways to give back to both people and pets during these trying times.”
BluePearl operates 76 veterinary hospitals in 24 states. Collectively, they perform more than 500 blood transfusions a month.
“Providing safe blood to pets who are in immediate need is challenging, as there are only a handful of pet blood banks across the U.S.,” Dr. Barr said.
Information about the BluePearl donation program is available at bit.ly/2X98QQ1.
Did you know a subscription to Today’s Veterinary Business is free to qualified veterinary professionals? All you have to do is sign up here (and renew each year). You also can sign up to receive the Today’s Veterinary Business weekly e-newsletter.