Carmen is a social issues and rural reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Bear's a doggy donor

Chelles McIntosh's dog Bear is a blood donor. Photo/supplied
Chelles McIntosh's dog Bear is a blood donor. Photo/supplied

When Chelles McIntosh heard about dogs giving blood at her local vet she knew the perfect candidate.

The dog trainer thought Bear, her 50kg purebred Rottweiler, could do his bit so she signed him up as a donor at the Mount and Mobile Vet.

To date he has given blood twice and Chelles says it has felt good to be able to help another dog.

"It doesn't happen too often ... but he is a pretty well behaved boy and he loves the ladies at the Mount Vet. A friend of mine works there as a nurse and we often pop in so he can associate any vet visit with good things."

The service is confidential and details of the other dog were not released.

"But it's still nice to know obviously some dog needs some help and even though it may not do the trick and they may not survive at least another dog was able to try and that is the main thing."

Julia Stanton-Jones from Mount and Mobile Vet says blood transfusions were mostly needed due to anaemia.This may occur due to bleeding, such as trauma or surgery, but may also be present due to cancer, kidney disease, some infections or autoimmune problems, she says.

It had only about four donors on its books but had donor dogs it could call on in larger centres like Auckland, while some clinics stored blood for use.

All species have differences in their blood and you cannot use one on another, she said.

Thirteen blood groups in dogs have been described but only about eight are recognised.

DOG BLOOD DONOR CRITERIA
* Between one and eight years old.
* Weigh more than 25kg.
* Have a good temperament.
* Have never travelled abroad.
* Vaccinated.
* Not on any medication.

- Bay News

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