PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - Two and a half-year-old Doberman Pinscher, Achilles is saving lives and warming hearts along the way.
"We have two different puppy dogs and they are used as blood donors,” Petal Animal Clinic Veterinarian Dr. Nate Moseley said. “They live at the clinic, spoiled rotten, but their job is to provide blood to animals who need it for emergency situations."
Achilles lives at the Petal Animal Clinic, he has a very important job behind his title of blood donor, lending a helping paw to other animals during traumatic times.
“It may be a puppy that’s hit by a car and its ruptured its spleen and therefore it would require a blood transfusion because they’ve lost a lot of blood in their abdomen,” Moseley said. “It could be something like a puppy who has a huge burden of hookworms which causes them to get anemic. With those dogs, we can do a blood transfusion after we cross-match and make sure the blood is compatible. We use that blood to save those puppy’s lives.”
With a love for animals and a passion to help, Moseley said just like in humans, dogs also have different blood types.
Routine blood work is done on the blood donor dogs by checking their red blood cell count to make sure they are not put at risk. So, when transfusions are needed, Moseley said his team is ready.
“One of the advantages of having them on-site we already know their blood type and we can do cross-matching in house to make sure they are compatible,” Moseley said. “We give them drugs to help prevent transfusion reactions and we have the blood when we need it. All the cases in which blood is required, we don’t have a day or two to wait for the blood to be shipped to us from an outside source.”
There is a second blood donor dog that lives at Petal Animal Clinic’s sister clinic in Hattiesburg.
Moseley said they are crucial in helping fellow pups going through a rough time.
"They are not just another pet, they are part of our crew,” Moseley said. “They get extra treats, probably more than they should especially after they donate. Our crew really bonds with those dogs because not only do they care about the dogs, but they care about the dog's life they save."
This week is National Vet Tech Week, and Moseley said he would like to extend his gratitude to all area veterinarians for their hard work and dedication to animals in the Pine Belt.