Sunday, 3 February 2008

'B' is for: Dog Blood Donors

Did you know :

- that there is a shortage of blood for life-saving dog operations?

- that there is no national dog blood service?

- that your dog could be a canine hero and life saver?

At the animal rescue we had several of our young and healthy dogs, usually greyhounds, registered with our vets as potential blood donors.

We would sometimes get an urgent call for a blood donor within the next hour. Of course we would help if at all possible.

Vets have to source blood and make there own arrangements. Not good if things are urgent.

Please talk to your vet about your dog becoming a blood donor. A health check will be carried out and a small blood sample will be taken for blood typing.

Your dog gets a free health check!

Olive, my female greyhound, has given life-saving blood. They don't need a lot to make a difference.

Now some blood facts.
- 13 blood type groups have been identified in dogs.
- Dogs can have more than one blood type
- Unlike people, dogs rarely have isoantibodies against other blood types, so it is possible to give a blood transfusion without blood typing or crossmatching before the transfusion.
- Greyhounds are regarded as universal blood donors. They have a high red cell count and a good temperament.

What is required of a dog blood donor?
- be in good health
- have no history of metabolic or heart disease or seizures
- Be between 1-7 years old (possibly 8 years max)
- should not be on medication
- should not be under or over weight (over 25 kgs is required)
- have a good temperament
There may be other requirements.

Donated blood can be separated into plasma and red cells, with one donation helping up to four dogs.

Since October 2005 a change in the law allowed vets to store pet blood for future use.

A charity, Pet Blood Bank UK, has been set up to help address the dog blood shortage issue.
They have a website

A nice story to end with.
We had a very urgent request for blood. A young dog was on the operating table and would die if blood wasn't available. We were able to help straight away.
The operation was a success.
When I went to collect our canine hero he was in a holding pen right next door to the dog he had just saved. A very grateful owner was there as well waiting to give us all a big thank you.

As I said earlier please consider making your dog a blood donor. It can be the difference between life and death.

Thanks for visiting, Ti

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