Animal foster carer hopes the story of Ella will encourage people to let pets become doggy blood donors
PUBLISHED: 16:54 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:54 12 February 2018
A volunteer carer for a Fenland animal rescue group hopes the story of a foster bull dog will encourage people to sign up their pets to become doggy blood donors.
Ella the bull dog is making a good recovery after she needed an emergency blood transfusion over two days.
Shirley Carter, her foster carer with Ravenswood Pet Rescue, said: “So many people haven’t heard of the dog blood bank so I thought it was a good opportunity to raise awareness.”
Seven year old bull dog, Ella, began suffering problems after she was spayed. She was lethargic and didn’t want to move, then her stomach began swelling up.
Shirley said: “The vets checked her with a scan and she was suffering an internal bleed. She lost a lot of blood.”
Ella was given a transfusion and she pulled through but had donor blood not been available she may not have made it, Shirley said.
Launched in 2007, Pet Blood Bank UK is the only charity that provides a canine blood bank service for vet practices across the UK.
The group’s aim is to advance animal health and welfare and to relieve suffering by providing quick and convenient access to blood.
A spokesman said: “Similar to the human blood service, dog owners kindly bring along their much loved canine companions to give blood at one of our many sessions across the country.
“The blood is then taken to our processing centre in Loughborough where it is separated into red blood cells and plasma products, and then stored ready for despatch.
“We run an average of five sessions a week at veterinary practices and kennels, with over 9,000 lifesaving donors registered with the charity.
“Last year, we sent out over 5,000 units of blood. The demand continues to grow.
“Every unit of blood can help save four other lives, saving thousands of lives every year.”
To be a doggy donor:
• Like us, dogs have different blood types. The charity tests for negative and positive. With only 30 per cent of donors being negative blood type, keeping up with demand is challenging. Certain breeds are more likely to be negative. They particularly need the following breeds: dobermanns, greyhounds, boxers, German shepherds, flat-coated retrievers, airedale terriers, weimaraners, lurchers, American bulldogs, pointer (English) and English bull terriers.
• Dogs must be fit and healthy, one to eight years old, weigh more than 25kg, have a good temperament, never travelled abroad, be vaccinated, not on any medication.
• Check when donor sessions are running in local vet practices by checking the Pet Blood Bank website.