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Rhodesian Ridgebacks

While waiting to see the vet in 2005, I picked up a leaflet and read about the blood donor program at

the Royal Veterinary College at North Mymms, Hertfordshire. Blood is needed for trauma patients, post

operative care and other problems, e.g. severe infections. Dogs can donate 1 pint every 2 months. Before each donation, a thorough health check is done by the veterinary surgeon and once a year, a full blood panel is done free of charge. And for every donation, a bag of dog food is given in return and the nurses are very generous with the treats! Blood type is either positive or negative in canines, the negative is rarer and universal. Donors must be aged 1-8 years and weigh over 25kgs.


AMARULA was registered first and before ever giving a full pint, she was found to have a mammary lump, which was removed and a biopsy showed that she had cancer. Another lump was removed approx 8 months later. As with a lot in her life, we walked a new path together and found a way through. On the lighter side, our vet Libby commented on her veins being the worst to find!

ZINFANDEL donated his first pint on 20/9/06; the bare patch on his neck only visible to me as he stood

in the ring at the RR Club of GB Championship show, where my pride in him was overwhelming even before he won his 3rd CC!  He was my first "hero".

CHABLIS had to wait until her season had finished and her first donation was 3/10/2006. She too was calm and collected as her jugular patch was clipped and her tail didn't stop wagging while she lay on the table and filled her pint bag.

DRAMBUIE was with me in October, to register and do

pre-bloods, but he was so cool that he went deeper into

my affections that day as he nearly fell asleep on the table

while he donated his first pint. He is owned by John Parrott.

JAKE, my friend Sue's Labrador, was also volunteered by me

(I'm so brave for them!). We met up with the boys and after

they had a good run together, I drove them to RVC for their

"day out" - they were both great, JAKE donating for the first

time on 7/2/2007. DRAMBUIE and JAKE then had their meals

side by side...

GRENACHE had just turned 1yr old when she registered as a blood donor and is also a negative type. Her first donation was 11/7/07, during which she lay very still and was not distracted by her brother,THEMBA, who had gone with us to register also.

GLORY was with us when we were called for negative blood donations in December 2007, so the nurses took a pint from her on 19/12/07 and we were all pleased with her willingness to do whatever the rest of the pack were doing. Even better news was that she is another negative blood type!

THEMBA went back to the RVC with ZINFANDEL on 13/2/08 and although he is not the bravest of dogs, after some complaining and lots of noise he donated his first pint so well when he lay still on the table.

NOMUSA is jointly owned and lives with Sue & THEMBA, so when Themba was needed, Nomusa came with us on 24/11/08 and donated her first pint of positive blood at 18 months of age. Another willing/winning donor and we are proud of her too.

SEMILLON came with us when Themba & Nomusa were needed on 29/10/09, and after he had explored

everything in the room, he donated his first pint of blood with his usual enthusiasm.


If you think your dog may be a suitable donor, please contact the QMH on 01707 666511 or email

blooddonor@rvc.ac.uk . Or, your own vet may have details of a blood donation scheme nearer you.

To date, we

have donated

over 80 pints

of blood!