Lancaster dog Ghillie saved by lifesaving blood donations from two other dogs
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Following their experience, owners Annette and Andrew Dawson now want to raise awareness of the vital blood bank service that helped to save their beloved pet.
In October, Ghillie began bleeding from her mouth without any signs of injury.
Worried, Annette and Andrew took her to Bay Vets to get her checked over.
After various tests, Ghillie was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Thrombocytopenia (IMTP) and hospitalised.
IMTP is a condition where the body’s immune system, which normally fights infection, starts to damage and destroy platelets. Platelets are cells required to clot blood and prevent bleeding. If enough platelets are destroyed, spontaneous bleeding can occur.
Ghillie began medical management for her IMTP.
However, after six days of intensive management, she continued to deteriorate and developed severe anaemia.
With her blood count dangerously low, Ghillie needed fresh whole blood to help her.
Kent, a dog owned by one of Bay Vet’s nurses, came to the rescue and donated blood for Ghillie.
However, after briefly stabilising her, Ghillie needed another transfusion just days later.
The blood for this came from the national charity Pet Blood Bank UK, a blood service for pets that operates just like the human blood service.
The blood Ghillie received was donated by Klaus, one of the thousands of dogs across the UK who donates blood regularly with Pet Blood Bank.
Thankfully, after the second transfusion, Ghillie’s condition improved and 10 days after her initial visit, she was discharged and sent home with ongoing medication.
Ghillie’s owners Annette and Andrew said, ‘We hadn’t heard of Pet Blood Bank before and are extremely thankful to them, the donor dogs, and the staff at Bay Vets for the care shown to Ghillie."
Ghillie has been back in for regular blood testing and remains on her steady road to a full recovery.
Ghillie’s story shows just how vital it is for vets to have access to a source of blood and platelets for dogs.
Pet Blood Bank UK operates across the UK collecting blood from dogs at locally run donation sessions.
This blood is then processed and stored, ready to be sent out to vets when they need it.
Last year, the charity launched its brand new blood product, Canine Platelet Concentrate, something that will be lifesaving for dogs like Ghillie.
Just as humans rely on blood being available, so do dogs, and in life-threatening situations like the one Ghillie faced, Pet Blood Bank aims to ensure this is always the case.
More dogs like Kent and Klaus are needed to come forward and give blood to meet this aim.
If your dog is fit and healthy, between one and eight years old, weighs over 25kg, and is confident, they could become a blood donor.
Bay Vets runs regular donation sessions with Pet Blood Bank.
To help dogs like Ghillie, please visit www.petbloodbankuk.org to find out more about your dog becoming a donor or the other ways you can get involved.
Donor dog criteria
*Fit and healthy
*Between one and eight years old
*Weigh more than 25kg
*Have a good temperament
*Have never travelled outside of the UK and Ireland
*Not on any medication