Canine blood donors needed

St Hilda’s Old Scholar Del-phine Anderson. d399921
St Hilda’s Old Scholar Del-phine Anderson. d399921

Owner Cherie Baxter said her gregarious canine called Floyd collapsed at their Mt Lawley home because of a tumour on the organ.

‘He had to go into emergency surgery to have that removed and due to the blood loss needed the transfusion,’ she said.

‘It was life-saving essentially because he was passing.’

Floyd has since been diagnosed with haemangiosarcoma ” an aggressive form of cancer.

Perth Vet Specialists (PVS) Emergency Care, which treated Floyd, is desperately seeking blood from donor dogs.

Traditionally emergency practices have collected donations from racing greyhounds, destined to be euthanized, for use in surgery.

Head vet Neal O’Connor said the service wanted to launch a register of local dogs as an alternative method to boost stocks.

‘Our biggest reason for giving blood is an operation where a lot of blood has been lost ” usually surgery inside the stomach, spleen or liver,’ he said.

‘Some dogs will come in and they’ve already started to bleed into their stomach because they have a tumour like what Floyd had, so by the time he came in he had a belly full of blood.

‘This really could be a matter of life or death.’

He said canine blood could be stored for about three weeks but a regular supply was needed and they could only take blood from an animal every three months.

‘Most donors on our list at the moment are hospital staff, who have brought in their dogs, but we just don’t have enough of those,’ he said.

Dr O’Connor said that as an incentive they were offering to provide free blood screenings and typing for dogs that provided blood donations.

He said if they were unable to attract the numbers, they could be forced to purchase blood from the University of Melbourne, which would come at a cost for those needing the transfusions.

PVS intern Melyssa Cotton brought in her two-year-old Weimaramer Leah to donate, knowing stocks were low, and their contribution could help save a life.