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Thumbs up for donor service

A NEW online dog blood donor service for dogs has been given the thumbs up by vets, with over 100 UK practices already registered as users.

The service now has over 1,000 dogs listed as potential donors, providing vets with a highly efficient mechanism for the provision of blood for emergency transfusions.
Claudia Loffler, who works for the Veterinary Emergency Treatment Service in Cardiff and Ystrad Mynach recently relied on its services to help save the life of a German Shepherd suffering from a splenic tumour. Following an operation during which the dog had lost vast quantities of blood, it was transferred to the emergency service for overnight care.

Claudia, who was on duty with the emergency service that night, takes up the story: ‘After checking the dog’s packed cell volume I decided that a blood transfusion was necessary and remembered the new blood donor website. I had never used it before and was pleasantly surprised that the service was free! The transfusion went well and we were able to discharge the dog the following morning. Although the dog did well for several weeks unfortunately he was diagnosed as a malignant haemangiosarcoma of the spleen, with secondary tumours. His condition deteriorated and he was sadly euthanased.’

Claudia feels that despite the eventual outcome the transfusion contributed to a quick recovery from major surgery and allowed the owners to spend some important quality time with their dog.
Ken Humphries provided the donor dog for the transfusion. Ken had promptly registered the two younger of his four Great Danes having learnt about the service from a friend. He explains: ‘Claudia rang me at about 10pm and I arrived at the practice with my Great Dane, Jaydania Justin Time for Bengrafton (Tess) half an hour later. The donation procedure was easy although the vet had to work from the floor because Tess was too big for the table! Tess sat very quietly while the blood was taken ˆ her show training helped in keeping her nice and still. She was absolutely fine after the procedure and to be honest I think she actually enjoyed all the attention! I am so pleased we were able to help save a life.’

The Dog Blood Donor Register was established by dog owner Diana Cruttwell and her vet Dr Clive Elwood from Davies Veterinary Specialists, who saved Diana’s dog’s life by administering a series of emergency blood transfusions. Pet owners can register on a safe website to enable their pet’s details to become accessible to vets throughout the UK. It is a totally free service. Vets registered to use the totally free service can then contact pet owners in an emergency in order for a unit of blood to be donated by the donor animal for use as a transfusion.

To find out more and to register your practice visit