Observations from Angela Lennox, DVM:

Heroic Pet Bearded Dragon “Donor” Donates Blood

Blood transfusions have been used for many sick exotic pets who need red blood cells due to severe anemia.

Here is our recipient Bearded Dragon “Butterscotch” who is weak from a very low red cell count of uncertain origin. She has been sedated to place her intraosseous catheter, which is inserted into a bone, as IV catheters are challenging to place, especially in sick patients. The process was made more comfortable by the use of a lidocaine (local) block.

Here the blood collected from our donor “Chain” is gently given through the catheter over about 15-20 minutes

Here is “Chain” resting after his donation. Since he is a big, healthy dragon, collecting blood from him was easy.

Here is “Butterscotch” on the left, feeling a little better after the transfusion, and “Chain” on the right. There is a visual barrier between the two because even though they cooperated today, in real life adult bearded dragons are usually not so peaceful and willing to help each other!