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Dog saved by blood donation

A DOG'S life has been saved by a blood donation from another dog, showing the usefulness of a blood donation service for pets.

Lizzie Gault with RosieRosie, a 10-year-old Bearded Collie, received a life-saving transfusion hours before an emergency operation to remove her spleen after developing tumours.

Owner Lizzie Gault, from Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, said Rosie would not have survived the surgery without the blood donation, as she was severely anaemic.

The operation was performed at Glasgow's Small Animal Hospital, which arranged to get the blood through a new charity, Pet Blood Bank UK (PBBuk).

Rosie's life was saved by Kai, a German shepherd dog from Stirling.

Kai's owner, Pauline Aitken, had taken her pet to give blood at a PBBuk drive in Stirling in November.

Ms Gault, a former dog breeder and exhibitor who works as a researcher at Glasgow University, said: ‘I took Rosie to the vet after realising her gums were really pale as I brushed her teeth.

‘A blood test discovered she had very low haemoglobin and an ultrasound found tumours on her spleen. We knew she had to have her spleen out but she was too weak.

‘The transfusion was truly wonderful because 10 years ago it wouldn't have been possible and Rosie probably wouldn't have made it.’

After the operation, Rosie even got a chance to meet Kai, the dog which saved her life, and they got on well.

Ms Aitken said: ‘I was delighted to meet Rosie, who made a great recovery, and see the positive impact of Kai's donation.

‘I'm a blood donor myself, so it was only natural for me to take Kai along to give blood to the Pet Blood Bank.’

Dr Ian Ramsay, director of Glasgow University's Small Animal Hospital, said: ‘Without blood donations many animals would not make it through surgery, and we are grateful to all the owners who donate their pet's blood.’

Rosie, who shares her home with two other Bearded Collies has now fully recovered from the surgery and had her stitches out last week, and has even recovered much of her old energy, and is running around and playing, as though nothing had happened to her.

She added: ‘Rosie had her stitches out last week.

The Pet Blood Bank UK was launched in March of this year and has since received 300 donations, amounting to 800 units of blood. The next Pet Blood Bank drive will take place in Stirling in February 2008.

Donating dogs must be between one and eight years old, weigh over 25kg, never have travelled abroad and be in good health.

Dog owners can call 01509-232222 for more information.