If you’ve been following our founder Wendy Green’s updates about her poorly pet dog Darcey, you’ll already know that I Love Cheadle Hulme is raising awareness of the Pet Blood Bank UK– a vital charity that was there for Darcey when she was in desperate need – and she was featured on BBC Radio Manchester. – Click here to listen
If you’ve ever bumped into Wendy while out walking her dog, you’ll have been greeted by Darcey in true bearded collie style – sociable, bouncy and super friendly. But a few weeks ago, Darcey suddenly became listless, weak and wobbly – the complete reverse of her usual self.
A trip to the Woodcroft vet’s mid-July revealed that seven-year-old Darcey had become anaemic for no apparent reason; there were suggestions of an autoimmune condition, bone marrow problems, internal bleeding and even cancer. Wendy was told that Darcey was “living on a knife’s edge”. The following day, tests revealed that Darcey’s body was destroying her red blood cells – she was in critical need of a blood transfusion.
It might come as something of a surprise that pets can undergo blood transfusions just like their owners – it was certainly a revelation to the I Love Cheadle Hulme team. Charity Pet Blood Bank UK is the only cause of its kind serving vets across the entire UK, and they came to Darcey’s aid when she was in dire need.
Unfortunately, because Darcey has a negative blood type, (only 30% of dogs are negative) and after many cross match tests there are no more matches in the blood bank, should she require another transfusion.
The experience has highlighted the importance of the Pet Blood Bankand I Love Cheadle Hulme is calling on owners of healthy dogs to consider giving their pets the chance to donate to this lifesaving cause.
Wendy spoke to BBC Radio Manchester’s Phil Trow live on air about Darcey’s illness and the lifesaving service offered by Pet Blood Bank UK, with Phil commending the work of the charity as “incredible”.
“Before Darcey became ill I had no idea that the Pet Blood Bank exists – but I’m so grateful it does. Cheadle Hulme is a community of dog lovers – our canine companions are a part of the family. If we can help save the lives of other dogs, why wouldn’t we?
“We’re appealing to our local dog owners to consider allowing their dogs to donate blood to the bank.
“There are some criteria – dogs needs to weigh over 25 kilos, be fit, healthy and up to date with injections. Negative blood types are a bit more unusual but particularly vital in cases like Darcey’s. Blood donations could really help the Pet Blood Bank save the lives of countless beloved pets, so please consider becoming a donor – you never know if your own pet might require the service one day.”
Some might be wondering how Darcey is, she’s certainly not out of the woods, her condition is called Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anaemia (IMHA) and there is no cure, we are in for a rollercoaster ride and I can’t thank Woodcroft Vets enough for the care and attention they have given Darcey. To date Darcey’s red blood cell count has increased so we are heading in the right direction. In the meantime you might spot us out and about with our doggie stroller!
Pet Blood Bank UK, based in Loughborough, is always on the lookout for healthy donor dogs. To find out more about how you and your dog can get involved, click here.