It is World Blood Donor Day, a day to thank voluntary blood donors and encourage blood donation and new donors, especially by representing how blood donations have saved and changed lives. This is not just within the human population, but within the canine population too.
So, on that note, meet some of our supporter’s canine superstars who have regularly given blood, or done so on a one off occasion to save another dogs life. Thank you to all their wonderful mum’s and dad’s for sharing their stories.
Hera has been donating blood for around four years and has done about twelve donations in total. She generally does 3-4 donations per year at the Royal Veterinary College in Brookman’s Park, where she is treated like a princess. The process takes around an hour and the donors get to lie on a furry raised bed while donating. Afterwards they get a hearty brunch! She donated throughout Covid but had to go in alone, which meant she had to be very brave indeed.
She has a universal blood type so is able to help all breeds of dogs, no matter their own blood type. Her blood can also be used for cats, but her parents don’t tell her that! Last year they received a wonderful letter and gifts from a doggy named Jackson whose life had been directly saved by the use of Hera’s blood during his emergency procedure. They say it was lovely to hear from a real recipient and it made the process feel even more worthwhile.
Now she is seven years old, she will be retiring soon and hopefully passing the baton to her new greyhound brother Marley, who is just five.
Fin and Evie
Fin was a regular blood donor at his mums local vets. He was a real hero one Christmas when she got a call from the vets late on Christmas Eve, they had a dog bleeding internally and seriously ill and needed Fin’s blood to stabilise him. She lived quite close by, so got Fin there quickly. The vets were able to take blood from Fin, and the dogs life was saved. It made that Christmas special for them, knowing that another dog owner still had their beloved pet. Sadly Fin is no longer with us, but his mum says “Fin was a special boy in every way, he sadly crossed the bridge nine years ago and is still very much missed.”
Her new girl Evie is now on the blood donor list! Her blood has just been tested and she is suitable, so she is ready and willing to save more lives just like her predecessor.
River, Pencil, Izzy, Billy and another Billy!
River was an abandoned injured stray in 2018, adopted via Hope Rescue. Pencil turned up as stray back in July last year, and remained unclaimed after his seven days. He’s nearly 18 months now, and has already donated twice for patients at the same practice where he was handed in as a stray.
Their lovely mum says “we have four rescue vet-owned rescue lurchers on the practice’s donor list: Izzy was an unclaimed stray has donated lots of times over the years. Billy was born at Hope Rescue, he’s another new donor.”
Finally, FHT Billy – he may be gone, but is never forgotten. This superstar donated quite a few times over the years and inevitably saved many lives.
Topsy became a life saver when his mum, (veterinary nurse in training), had a stricken pooch come into their surgery in need of an emergency blood transfusion. So, Topsy was taken to the surgery to donate some of his precious blood. He was an absolute superstar, although a little weary for the experience. The great news is, the transfusion was successful and saved the very thankful recipient’s life!
Slade was a regular blood donor for several years. Here is is with his well deserved certificate of retirement from Pet Blood Bank UK. His mum says he was very well looked after by this wonderful organisation. Sadly Slade is no longer with us, but his memory lives on in the veins of all those he saved…and his mum’s heart.
Beautiful Sorrell also donated blood and became a lifesaver. They say greyhounds don’t always get on with small dogs, but Sorrell completely disproved that by donating blood to save a terriers life! Sorrell is sadly no longer with us, but her dad says “she was an amazing girl”.
Lovely Lacey pictured in her Pet Blood Bank UK bandana donated a massive eleven pints of blood in her lifetime! The donations she gave represented a potential saving of 33 lives….wow, what a superstar Lacey was! She’s sadly no longer with us, but lives on in her mum’s heart and of those dogs her blood saved.
Billy was in the care of Forever Hounds Trust when he saved a life. Our Devon team received an emergency call from the local vet asking if we could help. Of course, the team didn’t hesitate in rushing down there with Billy, who subsequently gave a blood donation so a seriously ill puppy could have a blood transfusion. It was a slim chance it was going to work as the puppy had a rare negative blood type, but after tests on Billy to make sure he was healthy, it turned out he also had the same blood type! Billy became a life-saver that day!
If these hero hounds have inspired you, according to Pet Blood Bank, one of the leading organisations for dog blood donations in the UK, for your dog to be a blood donor, they must be:
- Fit and healthy
- Between one and eight years old
- Weigh more than 25kg
- Have a good temperament
- Have never travelled outside of the UK and Ireland
- Vaccinated or have an annual titre test after the first year booster
- Not on any medication
You can read more about this wonderful charity here: https://www.petbloodbankuk.org/