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Updated: 18th October 2018 01:07

Calgary canine blood drive 'litres' of success

Organizers of Calgary’s first doggie blood drive say it was a phenomenal success, blowing expectations out the water.

Goals exceeded at Calgary’s first doggie blood drive

Marge is a 1-year-old pit bull. She joined other dogs to donate blood at Calgary's first canine blood drive. (Meghann Dionne/CBC)

Organizers of Calgary's first doggie blood drive say it was a phenomenal success, blowing expectations out the water.

"We had more than 20 who were registered but we have also had calls from people who are interesting in dropping in if we have any extra space," organizer Dr. Caitlin McLagan said.

The veterinarian intern at Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre says the need for blood for transfusions increases in the summer.

"As with humans, we definitely have times both where we may have an increased need for blood products as well as potentially not as much blood as we would like," McLagan explains.

Dr. Caitlin McLagan says the first canine blood drive in Calgary was a huge success. They now hope to run them 4 times a year. (Meghann Dionne/CBC)

"Blood is in a greater demand in the warmer summer months."

The drive collected about 11 litres of blood which is sent to a Winnipeg distribution centre where it's tested and screened, then available to vet clinics across the country.

Leah Potter who works at the centre steadied her dog, a one-year-old pit bull named Marge, for her donation.

"It went well, she did awesome. She was very calm and waited patiently," Potter said.

Leah Potter's dog Marge donated blood today. Marge has a universal blood type which all dogs can receive. (Meghann Dionne/CBC)

"She is universal, she is a negative [blood type] so she can donate to anybody."

McLagan said response from the community was incredible and while this was the first drive for the centre, they are now looking at doing it four times a year.

To donate, a dog should be between one and eight years old, more than 50 pounds, up to date on their vaccinations and of an even, calm temperament.

"This is first one and we had a fantastic response and we hoping to see that same response a few more times a year," McLagan said.

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