We all know about carrying human
donor cards, and what can now be done
to help fellow humans in need – but
how many pet owners are aware that
we have a similar service for pets?
Until a couple of years ago blood could not be taken
and stored, and only whole blood could be taken to
be used immediately. As a practice we had a list of
pets we could call upon in times of need, but often in
emergencies it was heart wrenching to hear a phone
ringing out, knowing the dog we needed was probably
out enjoying themselves in the park! However times
have changed and now we have the Pet Blood Bank to
supply us with not only with whole blood, but platelets,
plasma and packed red cells. This enables us to treat
a number of illnesses not just anaemia, or accidental
blood loss. At present this service is only available
for dogs, but they are hoping to expand to provide
cat blood too in the near future. Many practices
will organize blood drives to ‘top-up’ the national
supplies, and the pet blood bank is available 24hrs a
day by courier to get blood where it is needed fast.
Veterinary Tissue Donation
Advances in Veterinary surgery now means that it
is possible to transplant bone and tendons in dogs
and cats to help treat broken bones, bone cancer
or ligament and tendon ruptures. These tissues are
collected from deceased donor cats and dogs.
All pets must meet strict criteria to be able to
participate in order to ensure the safety of the
donations into the recipient animals. All animals must
be fully vaccinated and free from illness or disease,
and not taking any medications. Older pets are less
likely to be able to donate. For blood products this is
prevent the donor animal from developing problems
due to the donation. In the case of tissues elderly
animals are unlikely to be candidates due to the wear
and tear on the tissues required.
If you would like further information contact Pet
Blood Bank at www.petbloodbankuk.org, or for info
on tissue donation go to www.vtbank.org. Both are
charitable organisations and would welcome support.
Alternatively contact your Vet for more information
on your pet becoming a donor.
Also spread the word, the more donor dogs and cats
are out there, the more advances
in veterinary medicine can be
made, and the more help we can
give all pets.