Pet Blood Bank gets a mobile blood unit
This week the charity Pet Blood Bank UK has launched its first mobile blood unit with support from Petplan Charitable Trust.
Much like the human blood service, Pet Blood Bank UK provides a national canine blood bank. The charity dispatches blood day and night to help save the lives of dogs across the UK.
Until now, Pet Blood Bank has relied on the generosity of 'host' veterinary practices who allow them use of their facilities to run donation sessions.
On average, five sessions run every week across the country. Pet Blood Bank collected over 3,000 units of blood last year.
Advances in veterinary medicine mean keeping stock levels up can be challenging, though. The introduction of a mobile unit is an exciting development for the charity as it will allow extra sessions to run when blood stocks are low. It also means donation sessions can run in areas the charity did not cover before.
Funded by Petplan Charitable Trust, the Pet Blood Bank mobile unit is a self-contained space where dogs can come to donate a unit of blood. The sessions in the mobile unit will run similarly to the charity’s existing sessions.
The dog is first checked by a vet before donating approximately 450ml of blood. A bowl of food and water follows the donation, as well as a goody bag and toy to take home.
As demand for blood products continues to grow, it is vital that more dog donors come forward.Last year, Pet Blood Bank supplied over 5,000 blood products to help dogs in need.
Every unit of blood that is collected can help save the lives of up to four other dogs.
Wendy Barnett, Clinical Director at Pet Blood Bank UK, said: ‘The launch of the mobile unit gives us a fantastic opportunity to reach more donors, as well as the flexibility to run extra sessions at short notice.
This is something we always hoped to have and thanks to the fantastic support from Petplan Charitable Trust, it has become a reality. Most importantly, the mobile unit will help to save the lives of more dogs.' David Simpson from Petplan Charitable Trust said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting Pet Blood Bank.
Pet Blood Bank does tremendously valuable and lifesaving work in providing vitally needed blood to help sick pets. Nor do we forget that none of it would be possible without the active support of the dogs and the owners who volunteer to donate blood.’
Like humans, dogs have different blood types and currently stocks of DEA 1 Negative blood are low.
Certain breeds of dog are more likely to have this blood type and so the charity would particularly like to hear from owners of the following breeds:
- German Shepherds
- Flat-Coated Retrievers
- Airedale Terriers
- American Bulldogs
- English Pointers
- English Bull Terriers.
To become a donor, dogs must be:
- Fit and healthy
- Between one and eight years old
- Weigh more than 25kg
-Have a good temperament
- Have never travelled abroad
- Not on any medication
At the time of printing this, Pet Blood Bank UK is still arranging the schedule for their mobile blood unit.
They are anticipating it will be visiting several locations around the Midlands.
For up to date information about their mobile unit schedule or to register interest in becoming a blood donor, please visit their website : www.petbloodbankuk.org or call 01509 232222.