Perhaps it’s something you wouldn’t think about, but just like us humans, our beloved dogs need blood donors too. And just like us, if you’re considering letting your dog become a lifesaver donor, they need to be happy, healthy and confident. 

The charity PET BLOOD BANK UK is currently appealing for dogs in Wales to come forward as blood donors to help save the lives of other dogs. Valley Veterinary Hospital in Gwaelod y Garth, Cardiff, is one of the charity’s host venues and they are looking for happy, healthy, and confident dogs to register for their donation sessions, the next of which takes place on Sunday 25th July.  

Pet Blood Bank is just like the human blood service, but for dogs. They collect blood donations from donor dogs across the UK which then go towards helping to save the lives of other dogs in need. Every donation a dog gives can help to save the lives of up to four other dogs. Dogs in 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.

The charity’s partnership with Valley Veterinary Hospital brought them to Wales for the very first time. This followed an emergency at Valley Vets where Mabel, a cockapoo, required lifesaving surgery after giving birth and going into septic shock. A blood transfusion was urgently needed, and local dog Orrin came to the rescue after his owner was called to bring him in. Orrin’s donation was vital and truly helped to save Mabel’s life. Now, Valley Veterinary Hospital needs more dogs like Orrin to come forward for their donation sessions with Pet Blood Bank so that dogs like Mabel always have blood available when they need it.

Lora D’Alesio, Veterinary Nurse at Valley Veterinary Hospital told us……

“Due to the advanced veterinary care that we are able to provide our patients, we are regularly dealing with emergencies of different varieties that require a blood transfusion. We are always lucky to be able to have blood from Pet Blood Bank, or one of our regular canine blood donors, without them many dogs would not be alive today!”

To become a donor, 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 as the dogs will go into their donation appointment alone while owners wait outside in order to minimise risk during the pandemic.

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.

The whole process is fairly stress free for the dogs too, and once again, just like us humans, they can look forward to a little treat afterwards.

Like humans, dogs have different blood types and negative blood is in very high demand as this can be given to any dog in an emergency. However, with only 30% of dogs having this blood type, keeping up with supplies is challenging, particularly during the pandemic. Therefore, Pet Blood Bank is also calling for certain breeds to come forward, as they are more likely to have his vital blood type. These breeds include German Shepherds, Dobermanns, Flat Coated Retrievers, Pointers, Greyhounds, Lurchers, Boxers, Old English Sheepdogs, and Weimaraners.

This is a service which really makes a difference. The dog below is Riley who is now officially America’s ‘most prolific dog blood donor’ by donating every six weeks and saving lives of 224 other dogs.

Dogs will usually donate between 230cc and 430cc of blood, which, if they donate as regularly possible for the seven year donation period, means they can save between 112 and 224 lives.

Riley has saved the lives of 224 other dogs

If you are interested in registering your dog to become a lifesaver or would like to book an appointment for the next donation session at Valley Veterinary Hospital on Sunday 25th July, please visit HERE or give the team a call on 01509-232222.

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