Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dogs give blood

Did you know just like humans that blood products are needed during surgery and for different conditions and therefore blood donors are needed for dogs and cats.

At the moment The Pet Blood Bank don't take cats for blood donation but there is a site that you can register your cat for donation.

The Pet Blood Bank is always in desperate need for blood donors and whilst dogs can receive a transfusion once regardless of their blood type if they need any further transfusions they need their own blood type.  There are criteria's for blood donation and if your dogs fits into this group I would ask you to please bear in mind how much you could help dogs in need by simply donating.

Many years ago my dog Buck donated blood for a dog that was hit by a car.  I found it fascinating and have to admit felt very proud we may have helped this poor dog.

So what happens?

Usually like us there are days booked in at different venues around the country and once you are registered they ring you to ask if you are available.  Once you have an appointment and all is in order all you have to do is turn up with your dog and they explain everything to you.

Despite being at a vet's surgery the dogs rarely get upset and thoroughly enjoy all the attention.  I took along Belle and Mila the St Bernard, Archie the saluki lurcher and My two lads Flute and Tips the Ibizan hounds.   After all the attention or gentle hellos depending on their emotional need, they go into a quiet room and have their necks shaved and some local anaesthetic cream rubbed in, some blood is then taken to be tested to if it is suitable.  By now most dogs are getting nosey and have a bit look around and any that want attention receive it.  Belle and Archie were a little shy at first but were soon won over though Belle was a bit of a liability nearly knocking the partition wall down with her rather firm butt in her enthusiasm.  Archie started kissing the ladies so I knew he was relaxing!  Mila did what Mila does best and did a great impression of a clicky mat.  Flute just likes kissing all the ladies and checking out the benches!  Unfortunately Tips was still too light so he didn't donate but still enjoyed all the attention.

Next they move into the donation room, all is pretty quiet other than the girls chatting and after more introductions they are lifted onto a flat padded table.  Now this is no mean feat with Belle and Mila so while we hauled huffed and puffed they flopped onto the table and waited to see what was going to happen next!

Now they are kept flat with the ladies making sure they can't fall off or move around too much and I was surprised to see how relaxed our guys and gals were especially since it is a very different environment and two are very comfortable at vets or in close contact with strangers.  Once settled into a routine of lying flat and being tickled within an inch of their lives the needle is gently put in and donation starts.  it is amazing how fast it is all done and Flute, Archie and Belle were close to falling asleep.  Mila however got stage fright and as many very laid back dogs like to do she showed she wasn't about to let someone steal her life's blood hehe.  Not to worry the girls just put some practise in let her lie being fussed and once totally calm allowed her down ready for the next step....

Not quite a coffee and a biscuit they get a bowl of chappie a couple of treats and a nice drink of cold water.  More fuss and off to the van for a kip!

I am so proud of us helping, of how well the guys and gals coped and am very grateful to the ladies for looking after the guys so well and it is fantastic to think they could be helping dogs in need.

If your dogs aren't suitable why don't you help by volunteering to help out on donation days or even just help spread the word about this invaluable service, remember it might be our dogs in need one day heaven forbid.

For all the information you need please check out their website:

http://www.petbloodbankuk.org






Oh and they receive a welcome treat and surprise for their donation which all the dogs appreciate!

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