By Cara Sulieman
A DOG owner is asking others to sign their pets up to a blood donor list after he had to have supplies rushed up from England to save his own beloved pooch.
Jeremy Stockton’s Springer Spaniel developed a rare type of anaemia and had to have a transfusion to save her life last June.
With the nearest doggy blood bank in Glasgow, the distraught owner had to drive from his home in East Calder in a bid to save his pet.
But with low stocks, the bank didn’t have the right type of blood and the 41-year-old had to get some flown up from England for Tess.
Now he has teamed up with his vets, Lamond Vets in Livingston, to encourage people to sign up their dogs onto a donors list.
Currently mainly working dogs, like police and search and rescue dogs, which donate blood in an emergency, but Jeremy wants to service to be made more widely available.
He was appalled by the lack of services when one-year-old Tess fell ill last year.
He said: “At first I thought she just had a cold, but it turned out she had a rare form of anaemia.
“They tried giving her fake bloody at first, but then they asked me to drive to Glasgow to get blood, as there were no supplies in Edinburgh.
“Might not have survived”
“Unfortunately there was none available. The only alternative was to get blood flown up from Loughborough, in England.
“We finally got it at 11.30pm. If it had been any later, Tess might not have survived. Basically that was keeping her alive while we tried to get her immune system to stop rejecting her own blood.
“At the time Tess could hardly life her head, but now she’s back to her normal bouncy self. I can’t praise the vets enough.”
At first, all the blood donated will be held in the Glasgow bank, but they hope to eventually set up a storage facility in the Lothians.
Jeremy said: “It’s a bit like a human blood transfusion service. We’d like to encourage as many vets as possible to help. This could help save a lot more dogs.”
The vets have signed up four canines in the last month and are hoping that more kind-hearted dog lovers will volunteer their precious pets for the list.
Veterinary nurse at Lamond Vets, Caroline Dick, 26, said: “It just involves the dog coming in for a health check and giving a blood sample to determine which blood group they are.
“If a dog needs a transfusion in the practice, we will phone up one of the dog owners on the register and take a blood donation.
“We are hoping to get about 12 names or so on the register.
“This certainly could be a lifesaver.
“Tess’s condition meant that her body did not recognise her own blood cells and started to destroy them. It might not have been such a happy ending for Tess if we were not able to get the blood.”
Dogs added to the register must be over 25 kilos and between the ages of one and eight.
They also need to be fit, healthy and of a good nature.