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Doggy donor doing his bit

South Wairarapa Vet nurse Jessie MacNeil’s dog Spud is a life-saving doggy blood donor. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

By Emily Norman
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Featherston vet nurse Jessie MacNeil and her dog Spud are both in the business of saving lives.
Spud, a second-time blood donor for South Wairarapa Veterinary Services where Ms MacNeil works, is a four-year-old strong and healthy mastiff cross.
He has been called upon twice to give blood in order to save another dog’s life.
While not always successful, blood transfusions can give owners a little extra time with their much loved pets.
“Spud is so chilled out about it too,” Mrs MacNeil said.
“In his usual everyday life, he’s a bit of a whirlwind but when it comes to this kind of stuff he is so patient.
“I don’t even need to hold him through it, he just sits there really nicely.”
Spud first donated blood about 6 months ago to a dog which was suffering from “some sort of mysterious anaemia”.
The dog has since recovered nicely.
“And that’s what makes it worth it I guess because that dog is now happy and home.”
Spud’s most recent blood donation on Friday was to a dog which was badly injured and was suffering haemorrhaging.
“That dog unfortunately passed away but the transfusion bought him a bit more time, which is something,” Ms MacNeil said.
“It gave the owners time to make their decision, with their dog being more comfortable having that blood.”
Ms MacNeil said in the last four or so years that she had been nursing, she had only been involved in three blood transfusions.
“It’s only a really emergency kind of deal,” she said.
“Because we’re taking resources off another dog we don’t really take it lightly.
“It is purely for the purpose of saving another dog’s life.”
Ms MacNeil said that like humans, dogs can have different blood types, but their first transfusion can be from any type.
Spud has not been typed yet as he has been “a purely emergency kind of deal at this point”, she said.

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