Canine Blood Bank Celebrates 100th Collection

Champ the greyhound, at the Portsmouth branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust, was among the donors taking part in the 100th batch collection for Vet Blood Supplies. The blood bank, set up in 2007 and based in north London, provides vital supplies for Medivet branches around the country. Veterinary nurse Laura Brind, who is responsible for collecting the blood, said: "We are really proud to celebrate the 100th collection.

We travel to Retired Greyhound Trust kennels across south-east England who kindly agreed to arrange the donation in return for free preventative treatment for the dogs." "The blood is stored at the blood bank in Watford, or at our 24-hour centres for when it is needed for a patient.

In the past few months blood products from our blood bank have been used to help save the lives of patients with haemorrhagic gastro-enteritis, splenic ruptures, sepsis and pancreatitis," she said. Liz Redpath is the owner of Barn Kennels, the Portsmouth branch of the Retired Greyhound Trust, which has been donating blood for the past 18 months.

 "Medivet come to collect blood every four months, and about 10 to 12 dogs donate each time. There are restrictions about weight and age, and the dogs get a good check over before they proceed. The preventative treatments and supplies we get in return are invaluable for helping to keep the kennels running," she said. During the donation, just under a pint of blood is drawn from each donor. For the first transfusion, any type of blood can be used, but for second and subsequent transfusions blood types between donor and patient have to be matched more carefully.

Greyhounds make ideal donors because their blood type can be easily matched, and they are less susceptible to blood diseases than other breeds of dog. Laura said: "Greyhounds have very calm temperaments, and they don't really react at all when blood is taken. We monitor all the animals very closely throughout the process to make sure there are no adverse effects." For information about adopting a greyhound call the Retired Greyhound Trust on 0844 826 8424 or go to www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk

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