Could your horse be­come a blood donor?

Your Horse (UK) - - News & Views -

The Royal Ve­teri­nary Col­lege (RVC) is call­ing for own­ers to regis­ter their horses with the col­lege’s equine blood donor pro­gramme to in­crease the amount of blood avail­able to treat crit­i­cally ill horses. Do­nated blood can be life-sav­ing and can help horses that have been vic­tims of road ac­ci­dents, had colic surgery or have se­vere prob­lems with their in­testines, such as col­i­tis. Un­like in hu­mans, there isn’t cur­rently a na­tional equine blood bank and the col­lege re­lies on blood do­na­tions from just four horses, with each giv­ing a do­na­tion once a month. Blood can be kept for up to one month, but de­te­ri­o­rates quickly and the col­lege are hop­ing that horses on the donor list will be able to pro­vide fresh blood to help those who need it most. To be­come a donor, horses ideally need to be over 550kg in weight and ei­ther a geld­ing or mare who has never been in foal. Horses have two main blood groups, A and Q, with AQ neg­a­tive be­ing the most ideal donor. Pro­fes­sor Josh Slater, Pro­fes­sor in Equine Clin­i­cal Stud­ies and Clin­i­cal Di­rec­tor of the Equine Re­fer­ral Hos­pi­tal at the RVC, said: “Our blood donors are the in­vis­i­ble he­roes of the hos­pi­tal team at the Royal Ve­teri­nary Col­lege. The blood and plasma that they do­nate saves the lives of our most crit­i­cally ill pa­tients and with­out them we wouldn’t be able to pro­vide cut­ting-edge crit­i­cal care.” To find out more and regis­ter your in­ter­est in the blood donor pro­gramme, email the RVC at equinere­cep­

Sonny, one of the RVC’s four equine donors

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