Have you ever heard about blood donation in animals? No right? As a human being, we generally don’t pay attention to this subject. Shockingly, as much as 99% of pet owners would not know that animals, too, can donate blood.
We are not aware of this issue due to lack of awareness among the masses about animal blood donation. It makes the task of the doctors more difficult, to find a suitable blood and blood donor for the injured animal. Like us, animals too need blood during surgery or when they meet with an accident.
In order to bridge the gap between animal blood donors and the animals who are in need of blood, Shiva Kumar, a Hyderabad-based electrical engineer has started a website which serves as a database for animal blood donation.
Animal Bloodline is both a website and an NGO that aims to save the lives of animals that need blood transfusions by providing a nationwide list of animals registered as blood donors. The NGO provides this service free of cost.
Shiva was always fond of animals since childhood. Shiva had the habit of rescuing injured animals he found on the streets and taking them to a veterinary hospital. Once treated, he would drop the animals near the same place he picked them up from. But what prompted him to start this website?
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Shiva explained, “When I was a child, I came across a dog who was severely injured. I took him to the vet. The dog had to be given 25 stiches. But the dog had lost a lot of blood and passed away in two days. This incident shook me to the core and I started to work for awareness on blood donation.”
He added, “The dog lost his life due to severe blood loss and unavailability of an animal blood donor. I began to gather information on animal blood donors and blood banks.”
Shiva visited more than 20 cities in the country and realised that many places don’t have a blood bank. He took this issue seriously and began to work on this issue.
He informed, “You would be shocked to know that there are only two blood banks for animals in the country. Many times, animals require a blood transfusion during medical emergencies, but a blood donor is not available. That is why, I decided to start this website. You can upload information regarding your pet here.”
Shiva elaborated, “Pet parents register their name and contact details along with their pet’s name, details and contact number. Once they register, they will appear in the donors’ list of that particular city. If your pet requires a blood transfusion, head to their website – you will find the contact details of a list of donors that you can reach out to.”
Animal bloodline was inaugurated on World Blood Donor Day, 14 June 2019, with the purpose of collecting details of animal blood donors across India.
Shiva stated, “If a cat or dog donates blood, then their details are hidden for three months. Also, once a dog or cat reaches eight years of age. Their information is taken down from the website. As they can no longer donate blood after reaching that age.”
Animal Bloodline provides a bridge between the donor animals and animals in need of blood. But their biggest challenge is to reach every pet owner and vets across the country to spread awareness – animal lives will only be saved if the number of donor registrations increases. Awareness of animal blood donation is the need of the hour.
Apart from Shiva Kumar, another person who was instrumental in the formation of this website and NGO is an animal lover named Dr Mounika Bindu. Dr Bindu believes that each pet owner should be aware of their pets blood group. As this is one important step in animal blood donation. She also aims to make kits which identify animal blood groups affordable and she is fighting for this cause.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Mounika Bindu, MD Radiology and co-founder of Animal Bloodline, currently working at sir HN Reliance Hospital in Mumbai, said, “With the help of few like-minded people, we have started this online platform to tackle emergency situations which require an immediate blood transfusion.”
“We are looking forward to collaborate with biotech research institutes/institutes who can help us in making the blood group testing kits affordable and the cause,” informed Dr Mounika.
Shiva said, “We are doing our best to raise awareness on animal blood donation. A free service is provided through the medium of this website. People with pets need to be made aware about the concept of animal blood donation. It surprises me that 99% of people are not aware about the blood group of their pet. This is a serious matter of concern.”
He concluded saying, “I appeal people with pets to register themselves on the website. This would help save countless animal lives.”
Animal bloodline is not involved with medical assessment but they help bridge the gap between blood donors and animals in need. Time is critical in medical emergencies, the blood of your pet can help save another animals life.
Dr Mounika added, “Every pet parent should know the pet’s blood group. There are no manufacturers in India who manufactures animal blood group testing kits. We are working on this aspect and are importing the kits from abroad. The cost of these kits should be reduced , we have plans to do research to reduce the cost of the kits so that every pet parent can afford it.”