Friday, March 24, 2017

Blood Drive For Dogs Coming To Mississauga

"I believe you said something
about a cookie
when this was all done?"
"What's that you say? Dogs can donate blood???"

They sure can, and just like their human counterparts, the blood they donate helps save lives! There are a number of canine illnesses that donated blood can help fight including cancer, anemia, surgeries after traumas, and poisoning. Currently, veterinarians in Ontario recognize there is a critical shortage of blood needed to help dogs in need of such care. If I were to hazard a guess I would say one of the main reasons for this shortage is that people simply are not aware of the fact their beloved dogs can actually donate blood, I certainly was unaware such a practice existed until just last year!

Thanks to the remarkable work undertaken by LifeStream Animal Blood Bank, every day more puppy parents are learning about canine blood donation, and more are stepping up with their dogs to help save other four-legged friends! There is of course, some criteria for those interested in helping. You can read this information on the Lifestream FAQ page, though the following are the most important :

- Dogs must weigh over 50lbs

- Age requirement is 1 - 7 years

- Dogs must be healthy and have a friendly disposition

- Dogs must not be taking any medication (with the exception of heartworm and flea preventatives)

- Proof of yearly vaccinations

Coming up on Sunday, April 9 Barks n' Rec in Mississauga, with the help of LifeStream, will be hosting the city's first ever dog blood drive. The drive will start at noon, and you can register your pooch by emailing  info@barksnrec.com or calling Matt Belvedere at 905-629-2622. Just read this story to see how you and your beloved dog can save the lives of other needy pups!



"I would like to express my overwhelming gratitude to Sandra Powell and Joan Tremblay of LifeStream Animal Blood Bank, as well as Dr. Ken Ross, Kingston Vet Clinic.

My dog Penelope has an incurable bleeding disorder, and her blood does not readily clot. I had been putting off having her spayed because of the risk that she could bleed to death.

Last year when Sandy & Joan opened LifeStream Animal Blood Bank, Dr. Ross suggested that I contact them to see if they had any suggestions to help Penny survive a surgery.

Last October Billie & Bandit, my other 2 dogs, became blood donors. Each time they gave blood Sandy would save some of the plasma. Finally 2 months ago they had enough plasma in storage to make the Cryoprecipitate, which is a concentrate of coagulation factors, derived from Fresh Frozen Plasma. Penny would need infusions of this before, during and after her surgery to help her blood to clot. Without it, she could have bled to death. Bandit also donated a unit of whole blood to have on hand in case Penny needed a transfusion.

I am happy to report that Penny came through her surgery very well and is now back home with us. She did not need the whole blood transfusion.

However, there was another dog in desperate need of a transfusion the same day and Bandit's blood went to help save that dog's life."

  
Nancy Page 
Battersea, ON

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Please consider having your dog be a donor, and feel free to comment if you have any experience with donating (or receiving a donation!) in the past. Good luck to Barks n' Rec and LifeStream at the blood drive, and thanks to you both for helping dogs in need!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

When Will Canada Implement Protocols For The Transportation Of Domestic Animals To Ensure Their Health And Safety?

In the last year we have seen accidents involving transport vehicles, we’ve seen parvo and ringworm and other worms & germs transported, and undo stress put on animals.
Thousands of animals are being moved both within Canada and into Canada, and with this comes the risk of spreading disease, causing stress to the animals and potential accidents waiting to happen. Unlike the US that has state to state requirements for transportation of domestic pets, Canada has NONE! Its up to us to be proactive and aware of all the issues involved. There are many facets to proper transportation protocols from using appropriate crates to disease containment. It is important that all rescue organizations or transport organizations have a list of protocols in place for the transport of domestic pets for their volunteers to follow. Far too often we are seeing parvo, ringworm and other nasty illnesses being transported, multiple species being transported together causing animal stress, crates crammed into vehicles and not properly secured and a multiple of other issues.
Let’s start with the basics...
Make sure you cover the inside of your vehicle with tarps/plastic or something else that is easily disinfected or can be disposed of. After each transport you should be disinfecting your vehicle. One of the best products is Virkon. Note, that Virkon and/or bleach/water does not work on organic matter ~ the organic matter must be cleaned using soap & water (or similar) prior to the disinfection. You should also have a “transport kit” in your vehicle. Here is what your kit should consist of :
 Paper towels  Baby wipes  Disposable latex/nitrile (not rubber) gloves  10% bleach solution in spray bottle  Extra collars, leashes, slip leads  Plastic or poop bags  Water & disposable dishes for drinking  Newspaper, pee pads, old towels and blankets  Extra crate for quick transfer from soiled crate or an unexpected health or behavioural issue  Pop top canned smelly dog or cat food to lure runaway dogs,  Garbage Bags
Now on to protocols...
 You should wear disposable gloves when handling ANY animals during transport, always changing your gloves after each animal.  All pets should be crated or tethered safely. Crates should be disinfected prior to and after each transport and in good condition with no broken parts and secured properly in vehicle, not loosely stacked on one another or “mcgyvered” in. If you do have to stack crates, ensure that there is something to prevent “spillage” from the crates on top and that they are properly secured so they don’t move around. Animals must be able to stand up and turn around in the crate.  Do not risk having dogs loose while driving. If you are transporting more than one tethered, ensure they are safely kept away from one another a) to ensure you are not spreading potential illness and b) to prevent a possible dog to dog issue.  No animals should be riding shotgun and that includes on someone’s lap, unless in a small crate that is properly secured in place.  If dogs/cats are crated, cover each crate with a sheet/blanket etc to prevent the disbursement of feces or urine or other bodily fluids. Using cardboard in between crates is also recommended.  Each animal should have its own leash and not be switched between multiple animals. The leash should remain with the animal from beginning to end of transport. If leash is to be used again for another transport, it needs disinfected i.e. bleach/water.  Transporting of multiple species is not recommended due to the undo stress that can be created for the animals. Also, transporting of animals from multiple shelters/facilities is also not recommended for health reasons.  If you have to stop and potty animals, ensure you clean up the ground thoroughly, after a bowel movement in particular. Bring a spray bottle of bleach/water solution and spray the ground where the dog went, especially if the meeting places are the same all the time and in public areas.  Water should be provided every 4 hours en route  Most animals being transported have little to no vetting and likely have not been quarantined for any period of time. It is important to remember this especially if you have personal pets at home that could be affected.  If animals have been vetted, ensure that ALL paperwork is travelling with pet in envelope and marked with name of pet  Wear old clothes. Clothes that you can easily toss away if necessary. Wipe the bottom of your footwear with bleach once transport is complete. Also, change clothes immediately and wash with bleach before interacting with personal pets. Do NOT visit any public stores/areas until completion of transport and clothes and footwear have been changed with the exception of change of leg on transport and bathroom area.  ALL animals should be provided a de-stress period at the end of transport and NOT unloaded at an event at a public place.  ALL animals should be inspected visibly prior to being loaded for transport, checking for any signs of illness or injury, that includes, sneezing, coughing, runny eyes/nose, limping, lethargy, etc. If any animal shows signs of illness or injury, it should NOT be transported. If an animal shows signs of illness or injury during transport, the animal should be removed from that transport immediately and an alternative found. Also, never transport unquarantined animals with ones that already have been, it defeats the entire purpose of quarantine.  ANY unweaned kittens / pups must be transported with mama in same crate.  ANY unvaccinated/unweaned puppies should not have “paws on the ground” during transport  DO NOT bring personal pets or children with you on transport!
The hope is, that anyone that volunteers to transport animals or runs transports for animals, considers the importance of this information and not only the health and well being of the passengers but that of the drivers and their vehicles as well.
***The above information reprinted with permission from Air Angels Canada.
If you have any concerns about the lack of protocols for transporting domestic
animals within Canada, please contact Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
(CVMA) via email at admin@cvma-acmv.org. You can also address any concerns
on the CVMA Facebook page or on Twitter at @CanVetMedAssoc. Hopefully
soon the CVMA can work with the government to help ensure the safety and health
of  Canada's pets. Regulations are long past due.
This is a disaster waiting to happen. God forbid there was an accident, never mind the amount of worms and germs that are likely being shared.