CANINE BLOOD donation charity, Pet Blood Bank UK (PBBuk), is celebrating the launch of the UK’s first mobile blood collection unit with a tour of vet schools, kicking off at The University of Nottingham's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.
The unit, kindly donated by Royal Canin, will be showcased for the first time at a blood collection session taking place at Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus. Pet Blood Bank UK, based in Loughborough, was launched in 2007 and was the first service to provide canine blood to veterinary surgeons for life-saving transfusions. Since then, with the help of the donors, thousands of lives have been saved nationally - for every one donation, potentially four dogs can be saved.
Pet Blood Bank is a not-for-profit charity, supported by Vets Now, the leading emergency and critical-care providers for pets in the UK. All profits are invested into developing veterinary transfusion medicine, education and welfare, and it is currently researching the possibility of launching a feline blood bank.
Wendy Barnett, executive director of PBBuk, said: ‘We are constantly looking for new recruits to assist with this life-saving service for dogs. In addition to collecting blood from our very loyal and much appreciated veterinary practices, thanks to Royal Canin, the new mobile unit will now allow us to reach out to more blood donors and fulfil the ever-increasing demand from veterinary practices for these lifesaving products. A tour of the veterinary schools is our first objective, which we hope will raise awareness of the charity’s work among the veterinary profession and the public.’
Caroline Quarmby, university teacher at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, commented: ‘This will be a great opportunity for students to examine dogs and practice laboratory techniques under supervision. They will also be able to assist with the donation process and post-donation checks. I hope that by seeing first-hand the emphasis placed on donor welfare, they will be encouraged to use blood products when they qualify to help save the lives of other dogs.’
Giving blood does not hurt the dog and an anaesthetic cream is used, plus lots of love and attention to make sure your dog hardly notices what’s going on. To become a donor, certain criteria need to be met, including:
- Good temperament
- Aged between one and eight years old
- Weigh more than 25 kgs (55lbs)
- Not travelled abroad
- Up to date on all vaccinations
- Fit and healthy and not receiving medication, apart from
preventive flea and wormer treatments
- Not had a previous blood transfusion
Pet Blood Bank is always looking for suitable donors. If you think your dog could become a lifesaver and give blood at The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science blood collection session on 23rd May, or for details on a blood collection drive near you, contact Pet Blood Bank UK on 01509 232 222 or 0844 800 9925 (5p/min) or visit www.petbloodbankuk.org.
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