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19 June 2013
Ben was a true Labrador with a healthy appetite for life and for food. Just before we met him he had surgery to remove a sock which had lodged in his intestine and was causing an obstruction or blockage in his bowel (as you might expect!).
Ben had recovered well from the surgery initially, but 6 days later he developed sudden and severe gastroenteritis (inflammation of the bowel) and he lost a significant amount of blood through his gut wall. Without going in too much detail about what Ben was passing and bringing up, he became very poorly and was referred on to us late that night when the local vets’ emergency service could not stabilise him. His gastrointestinal bleeding continued to the point where Ben was becoming dangerously anaemic, and the turning point came when he had a blood transfusion which helped to give him some extra time and reserves to cope with his disease.
From the time of his transfusion onwards Ben was far more stable and although it ultimately took a couple of months before his gastrointestinal problems were properly sorted out, he would not have survived initially without his blood transfusion. We often refer to a blood transfusion as allowing us to “top up” a leaky tank while we find a way to plug the leak – this was certainly the case with Ben, and he undoubtedly had a very unpleasant leak!
Ben’s owner and the medicine team at Willows Referral Service are very grateful to the dogs (and their owners) who kindly donated blood that enabled us to save his life. Ben is such an enthusiast that we know, if he could, he would spread the word about the crucial work the Pet Blood Bank does.
Willows is running a blood donor session in conjunction with the Pet Blood Bank, a not-for-profit charitable organisation that supplies life-saving blood and blood products for dogs across the UK.