Dog blood bank boosts shortages

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THEY may be known as man’s best friend – but dogs across Banbury did their bit to support each other this week.

On Tuesday, Pet Blood Bank UK hosted a blood donation session for dogs at Hawthorne Lodge Veterinary Practice in Banbury.

The charity visits veterinary practices across the UK collecting 450ml donations – the same as is donated by humans – which are then despatched in emergencies.

Phlebotomist Debbie Leonard, registered veterinary nurse for Pet Blood Bank, said: “A lot of people don’t realise dogs can give blood and it is only when their own dogs need it that they find out.

“Donor welfare is always of paramount importance to us and if a dog is not happy or uneasy then we won’t proceed.”

The blood bank was established in 2007 and just one donation can save as many as four dogs’ lives.

Previously vets and nurses used their own pets to supply blood in emergencies.

The blood is processed into red cells and plasma and supplied to veterinary practices across the UK to be used during surgery or to treat major traumas or diseases.

Among those who took part in Tuesday’s donation was 16-month-old Bruno, a mastiff/German shepherd cross breed.

After his donation he was given treats, a bandana and a choice of toy and owner Sally Clement, of Glanville Gardens in Banbury, said: “I’m probably doing this for the same reason as everyone else; if Bruno was in an accident and needed blood, I would like to know there is someone there who has brought their dog in to help.”