Clean Up On Seven

Tonight Blue became a hero. He gave his first donation of blood at our local animal emergency clinic. In honor of Girly Girl, I took both Blue and Bettina to the clinic and had them tested. As most greyhounds are, both were universal donors. Since they are both healthy, above the minimum weight and their mumma promised to come when called, they were accepted into the blood donor program.

I got the call a couple days ago. The clinic’s current supply of blood was due to expire and Blue was next up on the donor list. So after dinner on Thursday, I bundled Blue up and we made our way to the clinic.

Luckily for us, it wasn’t busy at all which meant he got right in. I must confess to having a small fantasy that we would arrive at the clinic in the nick of time to save the day for some poor dog at death’s door. Blue would gallantly lie down next to the unfortunate canine and give a patient to patient transfusion thus saving the dog from certain extinction. Yeah right.

Instead, they took Blue out back and I read the newspaper while they drained my big guy. After awhile, Blue came out staggering slightly, looking a bit woozy. The clinician explained that they had actually had to tap both sides since the first attempt caught him by surprise and he jerked his head, collapsing the vein. He was prepared when they got to the other side though and she said he was the very model of a perfect canine blood donor.

For those of you who don’t already know, they take the blood from the large veins in the neck. Ouch. They had given Blue subcutaneous fluids on his back to help mitigate the effects of his recent blood loss. He looked like a four legged Quasimodo with his watery hump back. They had used cold fluids so the hump was not only squashy; it was cool to the touch. Blue is typically a furnace so it was strange to pet him and feel his warmth only to suddenly come upon a spot that was cold by comparison.

One of my big concerns about letting the kids be blood donors was that it may traumatize one or both of them. Any concerns I had about Blue were allayed when the clinician made a big deal of him for a bit and then turned to go back to the treatment area. Blue started in after her, clearly not traumatized at all by the woman who had just pierced his neck with a fire hose. That’s my boy. He doesn’t care what you are doing to him, as long as you are touching him. He had two staff members’ undivided attention for 40 minutes. For Blue, that seemed well worth the vampiric experience.

I put his coat on as they warned me that, as a white dog, he would bleed some more. I am familiar with Blue’s penchant to bleed more than normal and bruise terribly at the slightest hint of a breeze wafting by and inadvertently brushing his skin.

When we reached home, Blue seemed a bit woozier than when we had left the clinic. I figured it must have hit him on the ride home. He tottered inside and waited for me to remove his outdoor gear. I took his coat off and it turns out white dogs do indeed bleed. A lot.

There was fresh blood smeared all over his neck, chest and jaw. Small rivulets of blood were still trickling down each side of his neck from the newly minted puncture holes. The skin underneath all that gore was nearly black and he had a puffy, squishy dewlap of pooled blood just under the surface.

Two rolls of paper towels later and fifteen minutes of direct pressure managed to bring the flow to a level small enough to allow me run to the trusty medical stash and grab him some Yunnan Baiyao capsules. This is a Traditional Chinese Medicine remedy that we used on Girly Girl when her lungs were filling with blood. It is nearly miraculous in its ability to stop bleeding anywhere on or in the body. Within a couple minutes, the bleeding stopped completely.

I then turned my attention to clean up. Another roll of paper towels later, I had managed to clean up much of what could only be described as a scene from a slasher movie. There was blood on Blue, blood on me, blood on Bettina, blood on the floor…you get the idea. I even wrung another pint or so of blood out of Blue’s coat. I certainly hope no one investigates my garbage too closely. If they do, I’ll surely have law enforcement on my doorstep.

I spent the rest of the evening stuffing Blue full of his favorite treats and telling him what a hero he was. He was still pretty glassy eyed, but nothing stands in the way of Blue and a treat so he soldiered on until the treats stopped coming. I covered the dog bed in the living room with a blanket in case we got another gusher. Blue promptly plopped himself down and shut his eyes. He was so zoned out that he was completely oblivious to Bettina’s attempts to bully him off the bed. Even her death stare was ineffective this night. She was incensed enough by this utter lack of respect for her status as house bully, she began to whine and prance with frustration. Getting no quarter from mumma, she finally gave a very pronounced sigh and did the heretofore unthinkable. She joined Blue on the bed. It was truly a night of unusual events.

After a short siesta and some more treats deftly extracted from mumma, Blue rallied. His eyes were bright again and he spent some quality time with his favorite bone. I was relieved to see that all was well. Poor Blue had given twice the normal donation amount. We’ll have to come up with a better solution next time because my budget can’t afford another clean up on seven. And they’ve already informed me that Bettina is up next month.


  1. These dogs are so resilient aren't they!

  2. No good deed goes unpunished! lol I'm glad Blue is doing okay. Kudos to you for doing such a good thing, too!

  3. Donating is such a good thing. I just did a detailed post tonight with pictures of how they do it.

    My boy donated on Sunday.


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