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Hundreds sign up to new Blood Register

The new web-based Animal Blood Register, launched last October, has received a phenomenal welcome from dog owners. Over 850 dogs have already been registered on the site as potential blood donors.

The Register is the first on-line initiative of its kind to be set up in the UK. It was established by driving instructor and dog owner Diana Cruttwell and her vet Dr Clive Elwood from Davies Veterinary Specialists, who recently saved Diana’s dog’s life by administering a series of emergency blood transfusions.

Dr Elwood explains: “Every day a dog somewhere in the UK needs a blood transfusion. For many procedures a transfusion is, in fact, a clinical necessity. In human medicine blood for transfusions is available from the National Blood Transfusion Service but vets have to rely on their own resources. Luckily, in this instance, we were able to save Abi by using blood donated by three of Diana‚s other dogs but the situation highlighted the urgent need for a national animal blood donor service to make blood readily available to any vet in the UK in an emergency.”

By registering on the safe website your dog’s details will be accessible to vets throughout the UK. It is a totally free service. You can then be contacted by a listed local vet in an emergency in order for a unit of blood to be donated by your dog for use as a transfusion

An ideal blood donor is a healthy, friendly, clinically normal dog that is not pregnant or has not produced a litter if an unspeyed bitch. Donors should be vaccinated (although not within 10-14 days before a donation) and free of infections and parasites, especially blood-borne disease. The blood giving procedure is very straightforward. There are usually no side effects and the recovery is quick.

Dog owner Tracy Battersby is one of many who have sent messages of support and praise for the Animal Blood Register. She said: “I’m so glad that your service is now available. We lost our little dog Ruby to anaemia last year. Unfortunately your service has come too late for her but I hope it will save others from going through what we had to suffer.”