Cumbrian vet in need of more dog blood donors - here's how you can get involved

  • Video report my Matt Taylor

A dog owner, from Cumbria, is urging others to sign up their pets to be blood donors. 

Annette Nicholson, whose pet's life was saved by donated animal blood, says it's an issue that needs highlighting after a decline in donations due to the pandemic.

Last November, 11-year-old Jack Russell, Hugo, needed critical surgery. Annette said: “At first I thought it was just an age thing, he started sleeping a lot and I had no idea what was wrong with him.

“He was very ill, he just stopped eating and was really unwell. So I brought him to the vet and Ann Noble saw him and realised that something wasn’t right.

“They did various tests and found that he’d got a growth on his spleen and it was the size of an orange. They’ve had to remove his spleen and the growth but he had to have a blood transfusion before they operated on him because his platelet level was so low.

"Really his life was saved by being able to have the transfusion so he could have the operation."

Belle, the labrador, saved the life of Hugo, the Jack Russell, by donating blood. Credit: Paragon

Paragon Vets, in Dalston, keeps a list of owners and dogs that would be willing to donate should there be a case that requires a transfusion - something that's in short supply because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In this instance, veterinary nurse Kelly Armstrong brought in her Labrador, Belle, to donate blood. After his four days with the vets, Hugo was allowed home and has returned to full health. However, without access to vital blood supplies, vet Ann Noble said there is a good chance he wouldn’t have recovered.

Ann said: "It's really important for us that we have dogs that we can call on if we have a crisis, sometimes with Hugo's situation we could plan it a little bit but sometimes we have a situation for example a road accident."

So when you next think of giving blood yourself, perhaps you should also consider signing your 'blood hound' too. For more information on pet blood donations, phone Paragon on 01228 710208.