Could your horse become a blood donor?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sonny, one of the RVC’s four equine donors