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Lifesaving Blood Donations from and for Dogs
Many of us, in the course of our lives, may have donated blood to help with life-saving treatments for our fellow humans. However, It may have escaped your thinking (I know it did mine) that many dogs are in need, and become in need, of blood donations too.
With a change in the law in 2005, dog blood is now able to be “collected, processed, stored and distributed to vets across the UK in the same way as human blood banks do”. Blood donations from dogs help to save thousands of canine lives each year and are taken and processed by the amazing charity Pet Blood Bank UK.
In this post, we will be exploring the work that Pet Blood Bank UK do, why doggy blood donation is so important and how you and your dog can get involved with donating blood to this amazing cause.
What does Pet Blood Bank UK do?
Pet Blood Bank is a UK-based charity that was set up to provide vets with a blood service that rivals that of the human blood banks we have across the country. Pet Blood Bank UK runs donation sessions up and down the country that enables healthy dogs, between the ages of one and eight, that are fit and healthy, weigh over 25kg and have a good temperament, to donate blood that helps to save the lives of thousands of our four-legged friends across the nation, every year.
The blood that is taken from these delightful doggy donors is taken to a processing centre in the midlands where it is processed into a series of different life-saving products. This blood is then stored enabling it to be available to vets anytime they need it. Pet Blood Bank is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week so there is always blood available when it is needed.
Pet Blood Bank UK is made up of a community of passionate pet carers and is a trusted supplier of, not only, blood services, but, of education and knowledge to vets and veterinary nurses too.
What are Blood Donations from Dogs Used For?
Like human blood donations, the uses of blood that is donated from dogs are wide and varied. Emergency procedures, critical care after an accident, cancer treatments, soft tissue surgeries and haemophilia are just a few of the reasons a blood transfusion for a dog might be needed. There are also rare blood diseases, such as Von Willebrands disease, that might need a dog to have multiple blood transfusions to enable them to live a comfortable and normal life.
In short, donating blood from your dog can help to save the lives of other dogs in a myriad of different ways and with donation appointments lasting a maximum of 45 minutes, there doesn't seem to be a good excuse not to!
How Can My Dog make a Blood Donation?
Pet Blood Bank UK run sessions across the country and you can easily find the nearest one to you here>. As we mentioned above, there is a criterion of health and well-being that your dog must meet in order to donate blood. This is to ensure the welfare of your precious pet before they start the lifesaving journey. This list of criteria includes your dog being;
- Fit and healthy
- Between one and eight years old
- Weighing more than 25kg
- Having a good temperament
- Having never travelled outside of the UK or Ireland
- Not on any medication
If your dog meets all of these criteria, is confident and happy to be handled by strangers, and is the perfect pooch when it comes to a vet's visit, they might just be ready to help save some lives! If all this applies you can register your dog with the form that is available here>
There are some dogs that have a rarer negative blood type that Pet Blood Bank UK are particularly interested in welcoming to their donation programme. Only 30% of eligible dogs have this negative blood type meaning the stocks are often low. However, there are dog breeds that are more likely to have this negative blood type, so, if you have one of the breeds below it is even more imperative you get involved.
- Airedale terrier
- American Bulldog
- Bassett Hound
- Bearded Collie
- Border Collie
- Curly Coated Retriever
- Dogue de Bordeaux
- English Bull Terrier
- Flat-Coated Retriever
- German Shepard
- Old English Sheepdog
You can find out so much more about donating, volunteering and helping this fantastic charity on the Pet Blood Bank UK website here>
So, if your dog fits into the criteria and is a willing participant, donating to the Pet Blood Bank UK is one of the finest things you and your canine companion can do for dogs and dog owning communities across the UK and Ireland.
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