Could your dog be a lifesaver? Pet Blood Bank UK has announced that they are starting to run lifesaving blood donation days in Penyffordd and Prestatyn, and they need local dogs to come forward. This is the first time Pet Blood Bank has ever held donation sessions in North Wales.
Just like humans, dogs often need lifesaving blood transfusions and Pet Blood Bank runs donation sessions across the UK to help ensure this blood is always available. Every donation a dog gives can help to save the lives of up to four other dogs. Dogs in North Wales, as well as all dogs across the UK, have access to the lifesaving blood should they ever need it, so it really is a vital service.
Daleside Vets in Penyffordd and AllPets Veterinary Surgery in Prestatyn have partnered with the charity and are looking for donor dogs to attend their very first sessions.
Daleside Vets often use blood products and treated one of their patients, Biscuit, using plasma earlier this year.
Biscuit, a beloved Cocker Spaniel owned by Sheena and Jamie, has von Williebrand disease, an inherited condition where the blood cannot clot properly. Because of this, her owners were hesitant to have her spayed as Biscuit’s condition can cause serious, uncontrollable bleeding during surgery.
Daleside Vets recently started offering laparoscopic spays – a keyhole procedure that is minimally invasive and causes less bleeding than the traditional method of open surgery.
A laparoscopic spay was a much safer option for Biscuit, but her body’s deficiency of clotting factors meant she needed to be given a plasma transfusion prior to her surgery. This provided her with the vital clotting factors she needed to stop any bleeding during the operation.
The plasma Biscuit received came from a lifesaving blood donation given by Winter, a German Wirehaired Pointer who donates with Pet Blood Bank. Owner Susie was proud of her girl saying, ‘Many years ago, one of my dogs ruptured his intestine and had one of my other dogs not given blood that night, he would have died. Since then, all my dogs have donated.’
Biscuit is doing well following her surgery. Her blood tests were normal, and she recovered fantastically well in the normal two-day window after a laparoscopic spay.
Sheena and Jamie, were grateful for the wonderful care she got, adding, ‘We were amazed how quickly Biscuit recovered from her surgery, within 48 hours she `was back to her normal self – in fact we struggled with how active she was!’
To become a donor like Winter, your dog must weigh more than 25kg, be between the ages of 1 and 8, and be fit and healthy. It is also important that they are confident, enjoy meeting new people, and having new experiences.
The donation itself only takes 5-10 minutes, but owners should expect their dogs to be with the team for around 35-40 minutes. Dogs receive a full health check from the Pet Blood Bank vet before donating and get showered with treats, fuss, and attention throughout their appointment. They even get a goody bag and toy to take home, as well as the pride of being a lifesaver.
If you are interested in finding out more and registering your dog as a donor, please visit www.petbloodbankuk.org or call the charity on 01509 232 222.