Call for more dog blood donors after 'Hippo the Hero' saves a life

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

A vet is looking to build a database of dogs available for emergency blood transfusions after a dog called Hippo saved a life last month.

Molly, a 15 year-old springer spaniel came in for some dental work at Kelperland Veterinary Centre, in Forest Green Road, on Thursday, January 16 and suffered an uncommon bleed overnight.

Her old age prevented her wound from healing quickly enough. The situation became life threatening, and she needed urgent help.

A five-year old golden retriever called Hippo came to Molly’s rescue – exactly the kind of dog that was hale and hearty enough to be a good blood donor.

“Hippo was an absolute star – he lay down on his side and allowed Fiona, our vet, to catheterise him and take 350ml of his blood,” said Dr Simon Ratcliffe, owner of Kelperland Vets.

“Most dogs understandably need sedation for this, but not Hippo – he just lay there enjoying the fuss from nurses Lotte and Mia.”

The blood was collected and immediately transfused to Molly. The procedure was complete within four hours.

Hippo’s donation of young, healthy blood helped Molly’s to clot properly, healing the wound in her mouth.

Molly was kept overnight and went home the next day. Two weeks later, her owners, the Sandalls, say she is doing very well.

“It’s quite unbelievable – she’s a different girl altogether,” said Ian Sandall, who lives in Cox Green. “We’ve been going to the vets for 25 or 30 years. They really put themselves out.”

For his donation, Hippo was treated to a tin and a half of dog food to replenish him and a poster of “Hippo the Hero” now sits in the waiting room at Kelperland Veterinary Centre.

Following this success story, Kelperland would like to build a database of dogs whose owners could be called if similar emergencies arose in the future.

The database would help a situation like Molly’s, with the nearest blood donor bank more than two hours away.

To qualify, a donor dog must be a larger breed of dog (over 25kg in weight), middle-aged and healthy. Kelperland reassured interested dog-owners that dog blood donation is safe.

To register email 

Editor's Picks

Most read

Top Articles