What is Pet Blood Bank?
Pet Blood Bank is a charity set up to support vets by providing a blood service for pets, just like the one we have as humans. The charity runs donation sessions across the country, where owners bring their beloved companions to give blood. Pet Blood Bank operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure blood is always available for pets in need.
Every unit of donated blood can help to save the lives of up to four other dogs.
Could your dog be a lifesaver?
Pet Blood Bank is looking for owners of large, happy, healthy, and confident dogs to become blood donors. By registering your dog, you will play a vital role in helping to save the lives of other dogs.
To become a blood donor, your dog must be:
Between one and eight years old
Weigh more than 25kg
Confident and enjoy meeting new people
Do dogs have different blood types?
Yes! Just like humans, dogs have different blood types. They can either be DEA 1 positive or negative. Negative blood is in high demand as this can be given to a dog in an emergency, so there is a need for more dogs who are likely to have this blood type to come forward as donors. For this reason, Pet Blood Bank is particularly appealing to owners of the following breeds to consider registering their dogs:Airedale Terrier
Curly Coated Retriever
Dogue de Bordeaux
English Bull Terrier
Flat Coated Retriever
Old English Sheepdog
What happens when you bring your dog to donate blood?
When owners arrive with their fabulous dogs at the session, the Pet Blood Bank team will welcome them. The donation session consists of three key parts:
1. First, your dog receives a pre-donation health check from a vet. This is to check they are fit and healthy to donate.
2. Next, for the donation, your dog will be lifted onto a table and asked to lie on their side. The donation taken is approximately 450ml of blood. This takes between 5 and 10 minutes. While donating, dogs get a lovely tummy rub from the team.
3. After their donation, dogs get their ‘tea and biscuits’, which is a drink of water and a snack. They are given a goody bag to take home which contains a toy and some treats, and a photo of them is taken for Pet Blood Bank’s Facebook page.
In total, owners should allow around 45 minutes for the whole appointment and are encouraged to accompany their dog throughout the session.
The difference blood makes?
Meet 2-year-old Cockerpoo Hana, who was recently involved in a horrible accident. Hana fell around 40 metres from a cliff while out on a walk with her owners Risa and James. When her owners reached her, she was disorientated and struggling for breath. They rushed her straight to the closest emergency vet, the Hospital for Small Animals at the University of Edinburgh.
Upon arriving, Hana was immediately examined to determine the extent of her injuries. She had a collapsed lung, damage to her liver, and internal bleeding.
As Hana’s accident was taking place, at the very same time across town at the Hospital for Small Animals, a Pet Blood Bank donation session was running. When Hana was rushed in, donor dog Missy had just finished giving blood. Missy is a regular donor for Pet Blood Bank and has been for several years.
Shortly after their arrival at the Hospital, Risa and James were told that Hana’s internal bleeding was so severe that she needed an urgent blood transfusion and that their consent was required to proceed with this. It was at this moment that the severity of Hana’s accident hit them. They agreed and Hana was given a unit of blood, the very unit of blood that Missy had given just an hour before.
Hana spent four days in intensive care before being allowed home to continue her recovery. Now, a few months later, Hana is back to her usual energetic and full of life self. You would never know what she had been through.
Risa said, ‘We really can't thank everyone that was involved in saving Hana's life enough and will forever be grateful.’
How you can get involved?
If you have a dog, you think could be a lifesaving donor, please visit the Pet Blood Bank website to learn more and register them for a donation session in your local area. If your dog is unable to donate blood, there are also many other ways you can support the charity. Helping to spread the word makes a big difference, or you could consider volunteering or fundraising.