Royal Vet College in North Mymms in need of cats and dogs to donate blood

PUBLISHED: 09:25 18 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:25 18 November 2016

Raisin the Labrador, who was presented with a 'blood donor of the year' award earlier this year.

Raisin the Labrador, who was presented with a 'blood donor of the year' award earlier this year.

Archant

Several dogs have retired from donating, and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in North Mymms is looking for cats and dogs to donate blood to help save the lives of other pets.

The college, which is in Hawkshead Lane, is looking for cats and dogs to donate blood after nine animals retired from the programme including cat Rosie and dogs Ben, Nikki and Billy.

The blood donor programme was created in 2005 at the RVC’s small animal referral hospital, the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals.

Jill Armstrong-Bridges, who owns eight-year-old lurcher Ben, said: “My dog has just retired after twenty donations and so have nine others.

“I know that they are going to start being short of blood.”

The blood donated by each dog is split into different compartments to help several patients, and all dogs receive health checks before donations.

A small area of fur is clipped from the neck to allow vets to clean the area and see the vein clearly, and local anaesthetic cream is used to minimise sensation.

Donated blood is processed to provide red blood cells, which are used to manage dogs that are bleeding or have anaemia, and plasma, which is used when there are problems with blood clotting.

Animals donating must be between one and seven years old easy to handle. Dogs must way more than 25kg and cats more than 5kg. They also must be healthy, not on medication, and have yearly vaccinations and regular worming and flea treatment.

They must not have had a blood transfusion or have travelled abroad.

Karen Humm, director of the Transfusion Medicine Service, said: “The RVC’s Blood Donor Programme is an incredibly important part of what we do at the QMHA.

“Over the last year alone, hundreds of animals’ lives have been saved at the QMHA through blood donations and this number is increasing year on year.

“We use the blood products we get to help treat animals with a massive range of issues including cats and dogs which have been in road traffic accidents, those with cancer, diseases where their immune system attacks their own blood cells, poisoning, big surgeries where they lose blood and clotting factors, genetic diseases and many others.”

If you are interested in your dog becoming a donor email blooddonor@rvc.ac.uk

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