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March vet asks if your dog could give blood?



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Here's the monthly Pet Subject column from Laura Dickens of Amical Veterinary Centre in High Street, March...

Receiving a unit of blood in an emergency is something that we see as a normal part of treatment in human medicine, with extreme thanks to the wonderful fleet of donors who regularly visit the blood drives across the country.

But when our dogs and cats need urgent blood products, what then?

Dog at the vet. A dropper for an animal. Pet treatment, recovery ill dog. Medical care for animals.Blood sampling. credit: istock/Elen11 (57988480)
Dog at the vet. A dropper for an animal. Pet treatment, recovery ill dog. Medical care for animals.Blood sampling. credit: istock/Elen11 (57988480)

Historically, rehoming centres like Wood Green Animal Shelter were happy to take a unit of blood from sighthounds in their care, but this was notoriously sporadic and very dependant on when the sighthounds last donated and indeed, if any where in kennels.

I, personally, will always be grateful to the greyhound Finn at WGAS who donated to save my own dog’s life, over a decade ago now when he developed a rare blood disorder. Veterinary staff also regularly volunteer their own pets in an emergency.

Now, we have the Pet Blood Bank, a charity who hold blood drives across the country to collect blood products.

These products are lifesavers. One unit of blood can be fractioned into many treatments – whole blood, packed red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma, and platelets to name a few.

One whole unit of blood can be transformed into at least three life-saving treatments.

Amical Veterinary Centre in March are looking at joining the Pet Blood Bank as a site for donations.

However, we need to accrue a bank of donors for this to happen.

We would love for the local population to consider registering their dogs for blood donation.

They need to be between one and eight years old, over 25kg (lean body weight), have a good temperament, be fully vaccinated, on no medication and must have not travelled outside of the UK and Ireland.

Does your dog fit these criteria? Would you like to help save lives?

Then please visit the Pet Blood Bank website to register your interest.

Once enough prospective donors are enrolled, Amical will then become a site for blood drives once every three to six months. The Pet Blood Bank also accepts Alpacas for blood donations, and they are considering starting feline donations also.

If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to help you.



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