**Next donation day Sunday 21st April – to register contact Pet Blood Bank.
Did you know that just like the NHS we perform blood transfusions in veterinary medicine? Blood transfusions for dogs and cats are common practice here at NWS for our sick patients requiring blood.
We are able to source the blood we need from two places – calling upon staff pets or from the Pet Blood Bank (PBB). Dogs have two main blood types – negative and positive. We keep a stock of both types of canine blood in at NWS ready for emergencies, but just like the NHS our supplies can run out, meaning we do not have blood readily available for our critical cases. Click here for our blog on cat blood donation. We made the decision to help out by hosting our own blood collecting session with the Pet Blood Bank, to ensure there is always blood available should your dog require it.
Firstly we had to find some volunteer donors – the dogs must be between 1 & 8 years old, have never been abroad, on no medication and in good health, be fully vaccinated and be over 25kg body weight. The first session was held on Sunday January 8th 2012 and we had 18 dogs come along to donate. So how did the session run? Click here to see our photos!
On arrival at NWS each dog was weighed to ensure they were over the required 25kg. Each dog first had a full clinical examination by one of the Pet Blood Bank’s vets; this also included a blood test to ensure they were able to donate. The PBB also send away a blood sample once a year for a full analysis to ensure donors are healthy, and to potentially pick up any changes. Two small patches were clipped from each dog’s neck – one for the blood test and one for the donation. They also checked the donor’s microchip – all donations are linked to the dog’s microchip number. Any dog wanting to donate needs to be microchipped and the PBB with do this free of charge at the time of donation.
Once the donors had passed through the pre-donation check, they were then taken through to the donation room. They were then lifted up on to a table with a padded mattress and laid on their left side. Here a fully qualified phlebotomist collected about 450ml of blood. The actual donation took between 5-10 minutes. The needle was then removed from the vein and a dressing was applied to the site of venipuncture to help reduce the risk of bruising.
After donation every dog was encouraged to stay at NWS for a short while to have a drink, lots of treats and fuss and to be observed by the PBB staff. Each dog received a Goodie Bag which included an “I’m a Lifesaver” Bandana and Tag to thank them. Owners received a call from one of the PBB staff within a few days of their dog donating and paperwork relating to the donation was sent to them and their veterinary practice.
All of the 18 dogs that attended were first time donors and of the 18, 7 dogs successfully went through to donation. Each donation will go to help save the life of up to 4 dogs!
Dogs that didn’t donate this time were a little anxious about the clippers needed to clip away the fur. For these dogs we used this session as training for them, the PBB are happy to do lots of training with donors to ensure they are happy to donate – the PBB will not muzzle or sedate dogs
Want to help other dogs? Register now with Pet Blood Bank!Feature