Just like humans, dogs sometimes need to be treated for illnesses and injuries.
Launched in 2007, Pet Blood Bank UK is the only charity that provides a canine blood bank service for all veterinary practitioners across the UK. Similar to the human blood service, dog owners kindly bring along their much loved canine companions to give blood at one of Pet Blood Bank's many sessions across the country.
We were able to speak to superstar doggy blood donor Amy the Greyhound (and her pawrents, Emily and Robert) about Amy's selfless donations.
Could you introduce yourselves?
Hello, we are Emily and Robert, and we adopted Amy our retired Greyhound one and a half years ago.
In an earlier life, Amy was known by her racing name Gone Girl, winning races at Sheffield Racing Track.
At the ripe age of 3, Amy ran her last race due to breaking her leg on the track. We adopted her a couple of months later and she has made a full recovery. You would never guess she had a broken leg when she runs after squirrels!
How did you and Amy find each other?
After reading online about how well behaved and calm Greyhounds are, we travelled up to Sheffield to look at adopting. We walked a number of male dogs (originally our preference), and were given Amy by chance. We knew after a few moments that she was the one for us. The following weekend we brought her to our forever home.
How did you find out about dog blood donation?
We first saw a sign in our local vets about dogs donating blood, whilst taking Amy for her booster jabs. After a bit of research, we signed her up as Greyhounds are known for being great donors.
Fantastic! Whereabouts does Amy go to give blood?
We go to our local vet at Scarsdale Veterinary Centre. Amy has given blood twice since August 2018.
Is there any additional information that any potential doggy blood donors might need to know?
I believe that dogs need to be over 25kg to give blood, so even as a smaller female Greyhound Amy is around 29kg!
At first we were worried about how she would be whilst giving blood and post treatment, but it didn't bother her at all. She gets a full health check-up and blood analysis at each session so we get peace of mind that she's healthy. We get to help other dogs who might need a blood transfusion and it only takes 20 minutes every few months.
Finally, does Amy get a post-donation reward?
Of course! Just like us humans, Amy needs some energy after giving blood so is given food straight after donation, a goodie bag and her choice of a toy. On Amy's first donation, she was also gifted with a bandana to show off her life-saving abilities!
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An average of five sessions are run weekly throughout veterinary practises and kennels, with over 10,000 registered with the charity. Last year, Pet Blood Bank sent out over 5,000 units of blood and as transfusion medicine advances, the demand continues to grow.Every unit of blood can help to save four other lives, helping to save thousands of lives every year.
If you think your hound could be a lifesaver, please go to www.petbloodbank.org to find out more information about donations near you.