Christmas is a time of giving, so I’m going to encourage you to give blood in 2016. So many health problems need blood and blood products to bring about a cure, and every single drop is given by volunteers.
Back at the end of November Willow developed a severe blood disease- non regenerative immune mediated haemolytic anaemia. Bit of a mouthful but it was bad news. Her immune system had turned against the cells in her bone marrow, destroying her ability to produce new red blood cells as well as killing red blood cells in her blood stream.
As her blood cells were being destroyed, Willow became weaker and weaker, leading her to the point of collapse.
Time was running out for Willow, and although treatment with immunosuppressive drugs could reduce the destruction we needed more red blood cells immediately to keep her alive. Blood wasn’t going to get to us in time from the national dog blood bank so we had to turn to you, our clients.
After a hasty ring round clients with likely dogs we found Hekta- a big enough and healthy enough Labrador to supply the necessary blood. Hekta was very kindly brought in by his owner and “volunteered” for blood donation. He was an absolute star and a pint of blood later (and a bowl of food!) he was back on his way again.
The blood was prepared for Willow and given over the next few hours. Although the disease wasn’t under control just yet, Hekta’s red blood cells enabled Willow to survive whilst we brought the destructive disease under control and Willow was able to start to make her own again red blood cells. Willow never looked back after the transfusion and after a few more days in hospital was able to go home.
I’m so happy to say that both dogs are now fine and well, and Willow is back to living a healthy bouncy life! Blood is critical to the survival of both ill dogs and ill people. So in 2016, try and be a Hekta and save a Willow 🙂
Merry Christmas from us all here at Mansion Hill!