It’s not just humans that have different blood groups. All animals have species-specific blood groups – and where humans have eight major groups, cows have 800! In the UK, dogs are categorised as DEA 1 positive or DEA 1 negative. Do you know which one your dog is? Only 30% of those who donate are DEA negative, so stocks are lower, and it is a blood type that is particularly in demand, as it can be given to any dog in an emergency.
The following breeds are more likely to have a negative blood type:
- Airedale Terrier
- American Bulldog
- Basset Hound
- Bearded Collie
- Border Collie
- Curly Coated Retriever
- Dogue de Bordeaux
- English Bull Terrier
- Flat Coated Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Old English Sheepdog
Pet Blood Bank UK runs donation sessions across the country and then the blood is taken to a processing centre in Loughborough, where it is separated into different products. It is then stored and sent out to vets when they need it for an unwell dog. The service is carefully managed by blood type, to ensure there is always enough stock of each type. It is safe for dogs to donate every eight weeks, but donors are only called when needed.
Doggie donors should be:
- 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
- Vaccinated or have an annual titre test after the first year booster
- Not on any medication
Dogs should be confident and happy being handled. They should enjoy meeting new people and be comfortable going to the vet.
“Your dog needs to be willing and happy to take part in the donation process and show us this through their behaviour,” says PBB. “We want your dog to love coming to see us, to enjoy being a donor, and be enthusiastic about the process.
“If your dog is anxious or nervous, wary of new people, or fearful at the vet’s, we would encourage you to support us in other ways. Dogs like this may find the donation process stressful. The welfare of your dog always comes first.”
Geordie the Labradoodle gave over 30 donations before retiring recently. Each unit of blood can save up to four other lives, so Geordie has potentially helped 120 poorly pets.
“Our team made a massive fuss of him to celebrate reaching such a fantastic milestone,” said Pet Blood Bank UK. “Thank you so much to Geordie’s owner for bringing him along to all his sessions. We are wishing him a very happy retirement.”
To register your dog, visit www.petbloodbankuk.org