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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 21:09 GMT 22:09 UK
Hunt for canine blood donors
Ben the greyhound gives blood
Ben's blood has saved the life of a collie
A veterinary practice in the East Midlands has set up its own blood donor scheme to encourage dogs to donate blood for emergency surgery.

The Park Veterinary Group in Whetstone, Leicestershire has asked dog owners to come forward and register their pets so a blood bank can be built up.

Ben, a large brindle and white greyhound, has donated blood several times, once saving the life of Molly, an ailing collie cross who is anaemic.

"The donors must have a good temperament and be easy to work with," said veterinary surgeon Ciara Downes.

A tin of food

"We check their blood type and then take blood from their neck vein - we take about 200-300 millilitres of blood."

"The dogs don't get tea and biscuits, but they do get a nice tin of dog food afterwards."

Ms Downes said not all dogs are suited to giving blood - temperament is all important so dogs that are giddy or snappy are not acceptable.

"You want a healthy dog or reasonable weight - a little Yorkshire terrier isn't going to donate a lot of blood.

"We like dogs that weigh more than 15 kilograms," she said.

Ben is a very placid dog with a good nature, she said, but he is still in the care of a Leicestershire rescue centre.

Ms Downes said any owners with potential dog donors should contact their local surgery for advice.

Dogs back boost for blood donors
23 Oct 02  |  England

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