Photo of blood donor Missy
Meet The Local Edinburgh Dog Who Helped To Save Another Dog After Serious Fall From Arthur Seat
Local Edinburgh dog Missy (age 5) helped to save the life of Cockerpoo Hana (age 2) after she fell from the Salisbury Crags at Arthur Seat and needed an emergency blood transfusion. Following her accident, Hana’s owners Risa and James Isherwood want to raise awareness of the vital blood bank service that helped to save their beloved pet.
It was Halloween when Cockerpoo Hana and her owners Risa and James got their own big scare after Hana accidentally ran off the side of a cliff while on a walk. Going along the Crags, the trio were unaware just how close the path ran to the cliff edge. Risa and James became concerned when their calls for Hana went unanswered and so split up to look for her. After a few minutes, James was horrified when he peered over the cliff edge and saw their beloved girl lying motionless at the bottom. It was a fall of around 40 metres.
Risa and James scrambled down the side of the hill to reach Hana. She was disorientated and struggling for breath but with no visible injuries. As they had been on foot, they frantically called a taxi to come and take them to the Hospital for Small Animals at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, part of the University of Edinburgh, 20 minutes away. It was a Sunday, so this was the closest emergency vets available.
Upon arriving, Hana was immediately examined to determine the extent of her injuries. She had a collapsed lung, damage to her liver, and internal bleeding.
As Hana’s accident was taking place, at the very same time across town at the Hospital for Small Animals, a Pet Blood Bank donation session was running. When Hana was rushed in, donor dog Missy had just finished giving blood. Pet Blood Bank operates just like the human blood service, but for dogs, and Missy is one of many dogs across the capital who regularly give blood.
Shortly after their arrival at the Hospital, Risa and James were told that Hana’s internal bleeding was so severe that she needed an urgent blood transfusion and that their consent was required to proceed with this. It was at this moment that the severity of Hana’s accident hit them. They agreed and Hana was given a unit of blood, the very unit of blood that Missy had given just an hour before.
Hana spent four days in intensive care before being allowed home to continue her recovery. Now, a few months later, Hana is back to her usual energetic and full of life self. You would never know what she had been through.
Risa said, ‘It’s a miracle. We are so grateful that there was blood available when Hana needed it. We were totally amazed when the hospital told us how Hana came to receive Missy’s blood, and the fact that Hana’s body has accepted Missy’s blood so perfectly.’
‘Hana is the same amazing dog she has always been and is completely back to her normal, crazy, and athletic self. She has even been up several Munros since the accident! She really loves life and being out and about.’
‘We really can't thank everyone that was involved in saving Hana's life enough and will forever be grateful.’
Golden Retriever Missy has been a regular donor with Pet Blood Bank for several years. She has donated over 10 times, potentially helping to save the lives of up to 40 other dogs, one of those being Hana.
Missy’s owner, Laura Baillie Law, said, ‘Missy had just completed her donation when Hana was brought in for emergency treatment. It’s great to know that the timing was just right, and Missy’s donation was ready to use straight away. Very few people seem to be aware that dogs can be blood donors and that there is a need for blood transfusions in dogs too. We’re delighted that Missy has been able to do her bit to help other dogs.’
Sue Murphy, Director of the Hospital for Small Animals, commented, ‘We are delighted to work in partnership with Pet Blood Bank and host regular donation sessions at our Hospital. This is a vital service and we so pleased that our vets, and Missy, were able to help save Hana.’
Dogs like Hana rely on blood being available in these life-threatening situations and Pet Blood Bank aims to ensure this is always the case. However, more dogs like Missy are needed to come forward and give blood to meet this aim. If your dog is fit and healthy, between 1 and 8 years old, weighs over 25kg, and is confident, they could become a blood donor.
The Hospital for Small Animals at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies runs regular donation sessions with Pet Blood Bank. To help dogs like Hana, please visit www.petbloodbankuk.org to find out more about your dog becoming a donor or the other ways you can get involved.
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