Dog and cat blood donors plea from Kesgrave vets
A vets in Suffolk is appealing for dog owners to join its blood donor list as numbers have dropped to just two.
The Orwell Veterinary Group hospital in Kesgrave said ideally it would like 20 and to start a donor list for cats.
The group does not store blood and usually needs to be able to get it within an hour.
Alison Devonshire, nurse manager, said: "There have been cases where dogs have died when we just haven't had the time to get the blood in from distance."
The hospital said it uses up to 30 litres (63 pints) of blood a year and rings up donors when blood is needed.
The Kesgrave hospital said it can use stored blood but, as it is delivered from London, it cannot rely on it.
Ms Devonshire said: "Their quickest guarantee for delivery is four hours, so having donors that live fairly close to our hospital is the best for us.
"The dog does need to have a nice temperament and not be needle-shy and, if they're not calm, we wouldn't sign them up."
A springer spaniel called Ben recently had a transfusion with the Orwell group to deal with a form of anaemia.
Sue Smedley, his owner, said: "Overnight he became very poorly and we thought we were going to lose him, so please could more people join as it's a wonderful thing.
"He's not doing too badly and hopefully he will come through it and be the little dog we used to know."
The Orwell group said donor animals need to be one to eight years old, fully vaccinated and not to have been abroad. Dogs need to weigh at least 25kg (55lbs) with cats at least 4kg (9lbs).
Sandy Sutherland, the owner of a golden retriever cross which is on the Orwell donors list, said: "We came up for injections and we talking about having her as a pat dog for the hospital, and the people here suggested it.
"It does save other dogs and more people should do it."
Source: BBC News