Hooch is fighting fit thanks to blood bank

Vet Christina Meadows, Alex Davidson with Hooch, partner Ian Paterson and Susan Quinn, veterinary nurse. Pic: FPA
Vet Christina Meadows, Alex Davidson with Hooch, partner Ian Paterson and Susan Quinn, veterinary nurse. Pic: FPA

A grateful pet owner has told how donations of blood to an animal pet blood bank saved his beloved dog’s life.

And the Kirkcaldy vet who carried out the treatment on Hooch, the four-year-old male Dogue de Bordeaux, is now urging other dog owners in and around the town to bring their pets along to a special blood donation session being organised by Pet Blood Bank next month.

Last spring, Alex Davidson from Kennoway rushed Hooch to St Clair Vets in Kirkcaldy. His stomach was bloated and he was very weak. On arriving at the Pottery Street practice, he collapsed and his heart stopped.

Distraught Alex had to leave the room, convinced he was going to lose his friend - butstaff managed to revive him.

Alex was told that Hooch needed emergency surgery to correct the condition, known as Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) – a life-threatening condition.

Against all the odds, Hooch pulled through and seemed to be responding to intensive care for the following 24 hours, but he suddenly suffered a rapid deterioration the following morning. He was losing blood and his prognosis was not good. Alex was told that everything was being done to save Hooch’s life.

The vet called the charity Pet Blood Bank, and blood was couriered to the practice, with Hooch receiving a transfusion the same evening.

The next morning, Alex prepared himself to face a poorly dog.

He said: “I went in expecting to see him lift his head to see me but to my amazement he came walking through to greet me! I swear it felt like a miracle.”

Hooch overcame more hurdles in the next few weeks, but is now fighting fit.

Alex said: “There’s no doubt Hooch wouldn’t be here without the blood donations. I am so grateful to the donors. I had never heard of dogs giving blood before but now I know first-hand the very special roles these dogs have in helping save another dog’s life.”

To help the charity continue its work, vet Ian Paterson and the team at St Clair Vets will open its doors to host a blood donation session on Sunday, March 8.

Maureen Cross, the owner of one of the donors, said: “My Lexi, a German shepherd, regularly donates. We heard about Pet Blood Bank through a friend. Hearing about Hooch brings home what a good thing giving blood is.”

Ian Paterson, vet and partner, said: “Without the products we got from Pet Blood Bank Hooch would have died. We wanted to give something back and that’s why we have set up this donour session which we hope could become a regular event.”