WE know about the importance of giving blood to help human victims of illness and accident, but now there is a push for doggy donors to boost supplies at a Pet Blood Bank.
Shitsu puppy Molly would have died without an emergency blood transfusion after contracting a severe form of anaemia last year, which attacked her red blood cells.
She had two emergency blood transfusions at Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital which saved her life.
Now her owner Debs Marshall, 53, from Milton-under-Wychwood, is appealing for other owners to volunteer their pets as life-saving blood donors.
Mrs Marshall said: “Molly became ill in February last year and started fainting. Quite quickly she became very ill.
“I’d never even thought about what happens when a dog needs blood, so it was a huge relief when the vet said there was a blood bank they could use. Molly, who is now 18 months old, made a quick recovery and is now right as rain, but the blood bank needs more dogs to give blood.”
Lynne Tyler, head nurse at the veterinary hospital, said: “Just like humans, ill or injured pets sometimes need a blood transfusion to save their lives.
“Local veterinary practices do not have blood stored on site in the same way that a human hospital would , so up until now we have depended on local pet owners who have volunteered their pet to be a donor. We keep a list of people who have said that if we have an emergency we can call them any time and they will bring their pet straight to us so that we can take some blood. But recently, a national not-for-profit organisation has been set up called the Pet Blood Bank (PBB).
“They hold blood-collection days at vet practices around the country in which they collect blood from at least 20 dogs at each practice.
“The blood is then taken back to their headquarters and processed, typed and stored. Vets can then order blood of the type they need for guaranteed next day delivery.”
Blood is taken from a dog via a needle placed into the animal’s jugular vein. But the process is quite painless and it only takes a few minutes to collect a full unit of blood.
Mrs Tyler said: “Having blood available can mean life or death to someone’s pet and we would love as many dogs as possible to join our sessions.
“It’s quick, relatively painless and they get a biscuit afterwards.”
Dog blood donors must be healthy, fully vaccinated, not on medication, between one and eight years old, large (over 25 kg), have never travelled abroad and have a good temperament.
People interested in volunteering their pet as a donor for emergencies or attending the next dog blood collection session, should call Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital on 01608 642547. To find out more and see a video of blood collection from a dog visit petbloodbankuk.org
Source: Oxford Mail