Saturday April 21st 2018

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Blood Donor Dog Praised By PDSA Vets

Bruno (7) was found to be suffering from a life-threatening condition called ‘autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA)’ – where healthy red blood cells are destroyed by the pets’ own white blood cells. Bruno had just hours left to live when he was rushed into the PDSA hospital in Blackpool after his worried owner Stephen Metcalf  noticed blood in his urine.

His only chance of survival was to quickly find a suitable blood donor. “The odds of finding and getting the donor dog into the hospital for the transfusion within the short space of time we had were very much against us.” says PDSA Senior Vet Jennifer Jackson.

Stephen endured a nerve-wracking wait as the PDSA team tried desperately to locate a suitable doggy donor. Thankfully their persistence paid off when the owner of Max, a loveable, fit and healthy four-year-old Labrador, agreed to help.

Max had undergone an operation at the PDSA when he was just one and his owner Luke McGarry, wanted to repay the charity for their help. He gladly agreed that Max could be a donor and rushed him down to the PetAid hospital straight away.

Jennifer says, “Max was a star patient, sitting quietly and still throughout. Half an hour later, after donating around 250ml of blood, Max was free to return home completely unaffected – apart from getting lots of fuss from the staff and his proud owner as well as a few well-deserved treats!”

Meanwhile Jennifer set about giving Bruno the donated blood. Bruno was kept in intensive care for a couple of days afterwards to closely monitor his condition.

Happily Bruno responded well and was allowed to return home. Owner Stephen said, “I’ve had Bruno since he was eight-weeks’-old, and he’s such a big softie. He’d been lethargic and not himself, and when I noticed the blood in his urine I knew something was wrong so I took him to be checked out at PDSA. I was stunned when they told me what was wrong – it really came out of the blue.

“I can’t thank Jennifer and PDSA enough – they’re fantastic people and I can’t express how grateful I am. I’m also indebted to Max and his owner Luke – if it wasn’t for them, Bruno wouldn’t be here today. His condition can come back at any time but I’m just glad for the extra time I’ve been given with him.”

Jennifer adds, “Sadly Bruno’s condition isn’t curable, and he may have to take tablets for the rest of his life. It’s always wonderful when cases have a happy ending and our sincere thanks go to Luke and Max for coming to the rescue.”

Bruno and his saviour Max came ‘nose-to-nose’ recently as they were re-united, back at PDSA’s Blackpool pet hospital, this time with Bruno in better health where plenty of tail-wagging took place!

Blackpool PDSA PetAid hospital provides free veterinary treatment for the sick and injured pets of eligible owners in need. The charity relies on donations from the public to fund its vital services, which costs over £700,000 a year to run. For further information about PDSA PetAid services call 0800 731 2502 or visit for more details.


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