Dog blood donors needed in Wales
Some parts of rural Wales are facing a shortage of donor blood for dogs, according to the only nationwide blood bank.
Pets Blood Bank UK (PBBUK) is holding donor recruitment sessions in Wales throughout July in order to solve this issue.
Due to the geography, they are saying that vets in Wales need to know where the blood can be sourced locally in the event of an emergency.
PBBUK believes that at any one time they may have no more than a few days' supply of blood and related products.
Joanne Patterson, the PBBUK spokesperson said that the summer was a specifically problematic time.
"While people are planning their holidays they're more concerned about kennelling their dogs and making sure they'll be happy than they are about giving blood," she told the BBC.
"But even though the summer is a particular problem, it can be a struggle year-round to ensure we have safe stock levels.
"The feedback we've had isn't so much that owners are reluctant to allow their pets to become donors, it's more that it simply doesn't dawn on them that there's a need for animal blood until their own pet requires it.
"So we're just trying to make all owners and vets aware of the issue whether they go on a local register or donate through PBBUK, or indeed both."
PBBUK is alone in stockpiling a number of specialist products, however, Ms Patterson explained that when in an emergency and short of time, locally-sourced donors can often be the best solution.
"The advantage of PBBUK is that we have the laboratory facilities to produce not just blood, but also a whole range of derivatives such as plasma for burns or poisoning, white blood cells for immunological problems, and clotting agents for extensive bleeding," she added.
"But given that we're based in Loughborough, often the best option for straightforward emergency transfusions can be local donors, especially in parts of Wales which can be difficult to reach by road in a hurry.
"So whilst we'll always help with any request if we can, vets should also canvass their customers to create a local list of owners who'd be prepared to allow their pets to be donors."
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