Round of ‘paws’ for Essex dog named blood donor of the year

The Benfleet Collie gave blood 13 times.

Submitted by PLMR

Superstar pooch, Spike, from Benfleet has been shortlisted for the canine award, having joined the RVC blood transfusion service in April 2019, having since donated an impressive 13 times.

The donor program is essential in helping to save and treat hundreds of cats and dogs each year by voluntarily donating their blood to be used in operations and procedures.

In recognition of the generous and life-saving donations given by intrepid four-legged friends, the RVC’s registered charity, the RVC Animal Care Trust, has awarded two families of canine and feline blood donors the coveted Blood Donor Awards of the year.

Katie Matthews, daughter of Spike owner Pauline, said: ‘Mum saw a call online asking for blood donors, and in particular this breed, so he did some tests to check he was fit, and he’s been there ever since. He loves donating! Even during the lockdown when we couldn’t go to the hospital with him, he went to see his favorite nurse without thinking of us who were waiting outside!

“It’s such a rewarding service to be a part of and we love hearing from the families whose pets have been saved by Spike’s blood. We got a letter at Christmas and it was one of our gifts favorites that year.

“A patient, a Springer Spaniel named Harry, required four blood transfusions earlier this year for immune-mediated thrombocytopenia. Treatment is ongoing, but we are happy to report that he has responded well and that is with a huge thank you to Spike and his precious blood donation.

With over 200 heroic dogs and cats saving lives through the RVC’s blood donation program, this pioneering program has helped save hundreds of critically ill animals, performing nearly 700 transfusions in the past year.

To date, the team has performed 516 canine blood product transfusions and 50 xenotransfusions (canine blood given to cats in emergencies), and another 45 blood donations have been used for cases requiring serum treatments. ocular.

Thanks to the generosity of blood donor families, the service has been able to ensure that the veterinary hospital has the essential supplies it needs to support a wide range of complex and life-saving operations and treatments.

Charlotte Russo, Head of Transfusion Medicine Nurse at RVC, said: “Spike is a fantastic donor, always so happy to come see us. He’s a lovely, calm, relaxed collie who’s so confident when he comes around – a fine example of the breed – and we’re so proud of him. He gave without his owner throughout the confinement and was as perfect as ever!



“We always need more blood type ‘negative’ canine donors – so Dobermans, Greyhounds, Flat-Coated Retrievers, German Shepherds and ‘Staffie’ breeds are often ideal. As always, if anyone has a happy, relaxed large dog of any breed and meets the requirements, we would welcome them.

The blood donation service is voluntary, with the RVC and Animal Care Trust relying on the goodwill of local animal owners who bring their animals to donate blood.

All donors undergo health checks before donating and receive a full blood screening free of charge each year.

Donors also receive a special blood donor tag in recognition of their support, and each receives a special gift upon retirement.

Could your dog be a hero like Spike? For more information, visit their website.


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