A desperately ill Border Collie from Calderdale is alive today thanks to blood donated by another dog hundreds of miles away.
Casey lives in Ripponden and needed urgent veterinary treatment after she was diagnosed with IMHA, a disease where her own body was destroying its healthy blood cells.
The blood was provided by canine blood bank charity, Pet Blood Bank UK (PBB) and was donated by Ishka, a cross breed from Port Seton, East Lothian.
Casey’s ordeal started when owner Frances Wright returned from her usual woodland walk with her and her other Border Collie Enzo.
Arriving home, Frances noticed that Casey had cut her back paw.
She said: “I immediately tended to the cut but I was struggling to get the bleeding to stop. I had to rush Casey to our local veterinary practice, West Mount Vets for immediate treatment.”
West Mount treated Casey with antibiotics and stapled the cut so she was able to head back home.
However, over the next few days, Frances noticed that her usually energetic pet was deteriorating.
She recalled: “Casey and Enzo love to play together and I was used to them spending the days bouncing around. So, when Casey started to become more lethargic, I was immediately worried. She then started refusing her food which was a big sign that something wasn’t right at all.”
Casey returned to her local vets for blood tests and it soon became clear the family pet needed specialist care.
After a two-hour trip to Liverpool University Veterinary Hospital, Casey was diagnosed with Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia (IMHA), a disease which meant that her body was attacking its own healthy red blood cells.
Alongside other treatment, Casey needed a vital blood transfusion with blood provided by charity, Pet Blood Bank UK (PBB).
Frances said: “Without PBB and their donors I wouldn’t have Casey by my side today. She needed the blood to boost her recovery but even after this we needed 10 months of specialist care to treat this awful disease.”
She added: “Casey is now doing really well. She was always precious but with everything that has happened she is now even more precious. We will be eternally grateful for the service PBB provide and to Casey’s donor.”
PBB were able to track Casey’s transfusion to Ishka – a three and a half year-old Golden Retriever Labrador cross who has donated blood four times to date to help her fellow canines.
With one donation saving up to four dogs’ lives not only had Ishka been a lifesaver for Casey, she has potentially helped save up to 11 other sick and injured dogs.
Ishka’s owner Carol McWatt has urged other dog owners to consider registering their dog as a potential donor.
She said: “Registering your dog as a potential donor is so worthwhile. The PBB staff are so helpful and good with the dogs, always ensuring that the donor is happy and relaxed in the donation process.”For more information on PBB go to www.petbloodbankuk.org
Pet Blood Bank UK Factfile
Launched in 2007, Pet Blood Bank UK is the only charity of its kind that provides a canine blood bank service for all veterinary practitioners across the UK.
Just like the human blood service, Pet Blood Bank UK collects blood from canine donors at organised donation sessions nationwide, on average four to five sessions a week. The blood is then processed into packed red blood cells and fresh plasma, and delivered to veterinary practices when they need it most.
Every unit of blood collected can help save four dogs’ lives, saving thousands of lives every year.