Mount Vets is looking for dogs that could save another pet’s life by being a blood donor. Blood and blood products for veterinary transfusions in the UK come from a charity called the Pet Blood Bank which is responsible for collection and storage of dog and cat blood products nationally.
Red blood cells are needed to carry oxygen to all the pets organs and loss of red blood cells causes anaemia which in severe cases can be life threatening. Blood transfusions can save an animal’s life within a matter of hours.
“However, as in human medicine there is a national shortage of dog and cat blood products so the required blood may not always be available to us when it’s urgently needed,” explained vet Charlotte Freeman.
“Mount Vets would like to create a local dog donor register so that if blood is required in an emergency we can contact owners of registered dogs to provide a blood donation for a specific patient requiring that blood immediately, as blood cannot be stored by the practice.”
In this situation, Mount Vets will collect blood from donor dogs and use this blood immediately for the transfusion.
To be eligible for the donor register dogs need to be
- between 1and 8 years of age
- weigh more than 25kg
- be up to date with all vaccinations
- never have travelled abroad
- not be on any medication
- be fit and healthy and with a calm temperament.
As well as being a caring canine citizen, there’s a bonus for donor dogs.
Upon registration as a donor dog, Mount Vets will test the blood type of your dog. For each blood donation by a donor dog, Mount Vets will provide a free health check and vaccination for that year. Donor dogs are limited to only one donation each year.
If you are interested in registering your dog to be a blood donor and help to save the life of another dog, please contact the practice on 01823 662286 or pick up a leaflet at reception.
Hazel is a golden retriever belonging to Beverley, one of the Mount reception team. Unfortunately Hazel required emergency surgery for a twisted stomach. Having recovered from her surgery, two weeks later Hazel developed complications and started to bleed into her gut. Her red blood cell count dropped very quickly and she developed life threatening anaemia requiring a blood transfusion. A unit of blood from the Pet Blood Bank was given to Hazel and medication started to halt the bleeding internally.
Hazel was constantly monitored by Mount Vets nursing team overnight to ensure there were no further complications.
Hazel went on to make a full recovery and is back to playing on the beach.