A greyhound Woodie, hailed the 'superstar' among animal donors, has retired in the UK. Dogs of this breed have a universal blood type that can be transfused to other dogs in emergencies. Woodie has saved the lives of nearly 90 animals in six years.
Woodie first donated blood when he was three years old. Since then, he has donated his blood 22 times to Pet Blood Bank in the United Kingdom. Each 16floz donation of blood can help four dogs.
As Woodie's owner Wendy Gray notes, "You never know when your dog will need blood. To know he has helped out families in distressing situations, to know he has helped saved lives, it is amazing."
Woodie is now 8 years old, and at that age dogs can no longer donate their blood. Like humans, cats and dogs also have blood types, differentiated according to the DEA (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen), the international canine blood group system. So, greyhounds in most cases can be universal blood donors for other dogs.
Ms. Gray says that Woodie has always been happy to donate blood. He behaved calmly during the procedure, expecting praise and treats. And afterwards he could walk for four to eight hours without being tired. "I am just so proud of him. He takes it all in his stride," Wendy adds.
The woman says she learned about pet blood donation when she saw a leaflet about it at the vets with her first dog Rio. By the way, Rio has also donated blood 11 times.
However, according to Nicole Osborne of Pet Blood Bank, Woodie has become a truly outstanding donor.
"Blood is vital to our pets, and the number of donations Woody has made will have a huge impact on the lives of other dogs across the country. We are so proud to have him as a donor for us, he really is a superstar," Osborne says.
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