Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 13:14 UK

Dog blood donor saves ill spaniel

Zak with handler Eric Carbis
Four-year-old Zak with handler PC Eric Carbis

A police dog has saved the life of an anaemic cocker spaniel by donating blood.

Four-year-old German Shepherd Zak is the first police dog in Scotland to take part in a transfusion to save the life of another animal.

He is one of 15 Central Scotland police dogs registered as blood donors.

Staff at Broadleys Veterinary surgery in Stirling, where the treatment was carried out, said the eight-year-old spaniel would have died without it.

The force's dog section registered their animals as blood donors in October last year in response to a national shortage of dog donors.

Vets at Broadleys were trying to save the spaniel who was dying due to an exceptionally low red blood count reading.

Had this not happened the dog in question would most certainly have died. He is now hopefully on the road to making a full recovery
Yvonne McGrotty
Broadleys vet

Dog section sergeant Cameron Shanks said the spaniel was recovering well after the operation.

He said: "Had the dog not received this transfusion very quickly he would have died.

"If one of our dogs was injured in the line of duty we'd expect there to be blood supplies to assist.

"It seems only right that our dogs give something back that will help others."

Zak's handler, PC Eric Carbis, said Zak had shown no side effects from the transfusion.

He added: "The whole procedure took four hours as Zak had to be sedated so he would lie still.

"But taking the blood only took 20 minutes. He was out of action for the rest of the day but he was back at work the following day."

Yvonne McGrotty, specialist veterinary surgeon at Broadleys said: "Had this not happened the dog in question would most certainly have died. He is now hopefully on the road to making a full recovery."

video and audio news
The spaniel's young owner thanks Zak

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