East Lancs dogs become blood donors in national drive to boost supplies

Blood donor Oscar, six

Blood donor Oscar, six

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by

THEY say dogs are a man’s best friend – but they can be pretty kind to each other as well.

The country’s only blood bank for pets made its first visit to East Lancashire at Burnley’s Oakmount Veterinary Centre, in Trafalgar Street, yesterday.

Pet Blood Bank UK welcomed 17 canines and their owners as part of a national drive to increase supplies of dog blood.

Emma Hyman, animal care assistant for the charity, said the visit could become a regular one after yesterday’s success.

She said: “It’s going really well. It’s our first time here and we’ve got 17 dogs booked in. It takes about half-an-hour per dog but the actual process of extracting blood is only five minutes.”

For dogs to donate, they must be between one and eight years old, weigh more than 25kg, have a good temperament, have never travelled abroad, be fully vaccinated and not be on any medication.

The process involves a health check and a five centimetre patch of hair being clipped back to allow cleansing solution and a needle to be placed into the jugular vein.

Although most dogs are type DEA 4-positive, a complex scale exists and transfusions between dogs with certain blood types are banned.

Ms Hyman said vets tried to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for the animals, with every successful donor rewarded with a goodie bag which includes an ‘I’m A Lifesaver’ bandana and tag.

She said: “They have to be over 25kg because we have to take a certain amount of blood [450 millilitres] into a human blood bag and that requires the dogs to be big enough to cope with losing so much.

“We try to make it as positive as possible for the dogs and their owners. We always have treats on hand and they generally enjoy it.

“We normally return to each centre every three or four months if the first session is successful so we’ll review how this one went and see.”

Each unit donated can help save four sick or injured animals, meaning a total of 68 dogs will benefit from the session.

Comments (4)

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2:11pm Wed 20 Aug 14

the beaver says...

There is no logic in this all the abandoned dogs and cats that are put down each week. Why not take blood from them. Also why not buy the blood with vet fees sky high surely they could pay for this. Does not make sense someone is making a lot of money out of this.
There is no logic in this all the abandoned dogs and cats that are put down each week. Why not take blood from them. Also why not buy the blood with vet fees sky high surely they could pay for this. Does not make sense someone is making a lot of money out of this. the beaver
  • Score: 0

4:10pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Davelyn says...

We as humans have a lot to learn from them !!!
We as humans have a lot to learn from them !!! Davelyn
  • Score: 2

4:32pm Wed 20 Aug 14

Owd Akela says...

I tried to register our latest dog as one of our previous dogs was in need of an artificial blood transfusion with only a small success rate. Unfortunately we had to have him put to sleep - it broke my heart to see my husband sat on the stairs sobbing his heart out like a little lad (I'm welling up just writing this).

Unfortunately our dog was too old to be registered but I know she would have enjoyed the experience (she is a very knowing little mut) - anything for a biscuit and a fuss.
I tried to register our latest dog as one of our previous dogs was in need of an artificial blood transfusion with only a small success rate. Unfortunately we had to have him put to sleep - it broke my heart to see my husband sat on the stairs sobbing his heart out like a little lad (I'm welling up just writing this). Unfortunately our dog was too old to be registered but I know she would have enjoyed the experience (she is a very knowing little mut) - anything for a biscuit and a fuss. Owd Akela
  • Score: 3

7:10am Thu 21 Aug 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

Davelyn wrote:
We as humans have a lot to learn from them !!!
No we don't. The dogs didn't choose this :-)
[quote][p][bold]Davelyn[/bold] wrote: We as humans have a lot to learn from them !!![/p][/quote]No we don't. The dogs didn't choose this :-) BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 0
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