Call for pet-blood donations

Neal O'Connor (Head Vet, PVS Emergency Care) with Floyd (12) the Labrador & Leah (2) Weimarama.
Neal O'Connor (Head Vet, PVS Emergency Care) with Floyd (12) the Labrador & Leah (2) Weimarama.

Owner Cherie Baxter said the dog collapsed at her 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 been diagnosed with haemangiosarcoma ” an aggressive form of cancer.

Perth Vet Specialists (PVS) Emergency Care, who treated Floyd, is desperately seeking blood from donor dogs in the western suburbs, where many of their patients reside.

Traditionally, emergency practices have collected donations from racing greyhounds, set to be put down, for use in surgery.

However, head vet Neal O’Connor said their emergency care 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. Blood can be taken from an animal every three months.

‘Most donors on our list at the moment are hospital staff who have brought their own dogs in 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 donated. Ms Baxter said she would register any healthy dogs she owned in the future.

Opinion and cartoon, page 8