Recognising superheroes – New RVC awards for cat and dog blood donors

Photo Source RVC

Recognising superheroes – New RVC awards for cat and dog blood donors

They say cats have nine lives, but the real superheroes are the animals who  provide blood donations.

Photo Source RVC – “Bertie”, a nine-year old golden retriever – “Canine Donor of the Year”

Cats and dogs attending the Royal Veterinary College’s (RVC) Blood Donor Programme have helped hundreds of animals involved in serious accidents, surgeries or suffering from serious diseases.

The RVC is celebrating these unsung heroes by awarding ‘Blood Donor of the Year’ awards to two of its regular donors, Bertie and Atticus. These awards recognise the amazing contribution Bertie and Atticus have made in helping  to save countless lives and will be presented to them and their owners on 14th June –  World Blood Donor Day.

Bertie, a nine-year-old golden retriever, has been a vital part of the RVC’s Blood Donor Programme for the last eight years. He has a similar blood type to 60% of dogs in the UK (type DEA 1 Positive), and has kindly donated over 22 units to the RVC’s small animal referral hospital. Blood provided by Bertie and other canine donors has been used for over 600 blood transfusions  each year at the RVC. Bertie is retiring this year and to note his contribution he has been awarded the ‘Canine Donor of the Year’ for his important efforts.

Bertie’s owner, Chris reveals: “I’ve always been a blood donor myself, so I really wanted my dog to help others like I do. I was around when Bertie was born, and he’s always been very calm. I think that helps make him such a good donor.”

Atticus, a four-year- old cat, has also played an important role in the RVC’s Blood Donor Programme since joining in 2016. The nine units of blood supplied by Atticus is blood type A, which is similar to 75% of cats in the UK. The RVC administers over 130 feline blood transfusions per year. In recognition, Atticus will be supplied with a ‘Feline Donor of the Year’ award.

Atticus’ owner, Olivia commented: “My first involvement with animal blood donations was through my work with Peaceful Pets – a charity for retired greyhounds. I got to know the RVC hospital team and then I brought Atticus along to donate after they explained how important feline blood donations are to their work. He becomes extra affectionate after each donation – I love it!”

Photo Source RVC – “Atticus”, a four-year old cat – “Feline Donor of the Year”

On this global awareness day, the RVC, which   currently runs Europe’s busiest animal   hospital blood donor programme, also thanks   the hundreds of other animals who have   provided blood that has saved  lives. They also   encourage more cat and dog donors to come   forward.

The RVC created its programme in 2005 in   response to high levels of demand for dog and   cat blood. This demand, which continually   increases year on year, is particularly important given the variety and complexities of the treatments offered at the RVC. For example,  treatments range from open-heart surgery to emergency and critical care, and from spinal surgery to cancer treatment.

Dominic Barfield, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care at the RVC, said: “Blood saves lives, literally. We are indebted to the kindness and generosity of those wonder dogs and super cats and the fabulous people that look after them, as their gift of a blood donation means that other pets can live. We cannot thank them enough and our RVC blood donor team who make it all possible.”

The RVC would also like to thank the generosity of its supporters, who contribute towards the operational costs of the Blood Donor Programme. For example, Burns Pet Food, whose Founder, John Burns, said: “As a Veterinary Surgeon and advocate of animal welfare, it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to be able to support a cause as worthy as the RVC blood transfusion service. I hope our donation will help many animals in need and this contribution will be the start of a great relationship.”

Notes to Editors

For more information please contact:

About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK’s largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a constituent College of the University of London.
  • The RVC is ranked as the world’s number one veterinary school in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
  • The College offers undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.
  • The RVC was the first veterinary school in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC, and currently holds full accreditation from RCVS, AVBC and AVMA and conditional from EAEVE.
  • In 2017, the RVC received a Gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – the highest rating a university can receive.
  • A research-led institution, the RVC maintained its position as the top veterinary institution in the Research Excellence Framework (2014), with 79% of its submission being rated as world-class or internationally excellent.
  • The College also provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals: the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital, in central London, and the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (Europe’s largest small animal referral centre) and Equine Referral Hospital, both located at the Hertfordshire campus.

For more information and original source please click here.

For more industry news please check out our website.

Find us on Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Final day to register for the AVPH webinar on Biosecurity and Smallholders

As I am on a hiatus from social media (well, Facebook to be more precise), it’s hard to get notices out of events that may be of interest.

However, it can’t help to give a final push via the Veterinary Careers news section

On the 18th of May, the AVPH are hosting a 1hr webinar on smallholders and biosecurity.

As a veterinarian who has a thing or two to say about surveillance and biosecurity, there are some genuine concerns about how we can engage with such producers/farmers/enthusiasts.

This webinar is part of a bigger planned output from AVPH and the AVA.

On the 9th of June, the AVPH will be hosting a 1-day workshop at the University of Melbourne that is designed for private practitioners who want to upskill their technical skills and knowledge of notifiable diseases with regards to smallholder farmers. This is a collaboration with DPI NSW, Agriculture Victoria, The Mackinnon Project (University of Melbourne), Charles Sturt University and 3M. Further details can be found on the AVA website.

DPI NSW have also launched a 2 hour, free e-learning webinar to provide Australian veterinarians with the foundational know-how of how biosecurity works within Australia as well as valuable resources. Further details are in the link below and requires registration on the DPI’s EMTrain website

Lots going on, but a fun time to get involved.

See you all tomorrow at the webinar!



Drones to unleash vaccine-laced M&Ms in bid to save endangered ferrets | The Guardian

How awesome is this? The US Fish and Wildlife service are using vaccine-laced M&Ms to deliver protection to at risk ferrets and prairie dogs.


Drone technology certainly has come a long way and will hopefully expand even more in the delivery of disease surveillance and agricultural opportunities.

Let’s all remember that before Skynet becomes active.

Source: Drones to unleash vaccine-laced M&Ms in bid to save endangered ferrets | Environment | The Guardian

Australia winning against superbugs in animals

Always good to see an old Professor of mine getting the message out there. Perfect space for practitioners with a research-leaning mind to get involved.

“We think we’ve got a grade-A report within companion animals and in livestock that we’ve got low levels of resistance particularly to critically important drugs used for serious or complicated infections.

“But without vigilance, without good study you can flip the report card very quickly and very easily.

“So it’s really important across the level governments, industry, universities that we’re all working together to keep these rates at this really low level.” – Prof Darren Trott, University of Adelaide

Source: Australia winning against superbugs in animals, researchers find