Photography: Ollie Jones at Studio_M
Ecko is a 4 year old German Shepherd with a talent for helping others. She is currently training with the Jersey Search and Rescue to become a search dog capable of finding missing people across all terrains, purely by their unique individual smell.
But it’s not only Ecko’s search and rescue training which renders her ability to save lives – she is also a canine blood donor.
Isis, a 9 year old Border Collie, was rushed to the vets with a series of small bleeds in her gums one evening. The vet at New Era Veterinary Hospital, Ian Cox, ran a series of tests on Isis as she deteriorated, before discovering that the bleeds were due to a mass on her spleen. Her body had used up all the platelets in her blood, which are essential in forming clots, so Isis was starting to bleed internally as well as in her gums, whilst her body failed to clot her blood to prevent this from happening.
The only way to help Isis was a blood transfusion, so that she could be well enough to undergo surgery and remove the problematic mass.
New Era are incredibly lucky to have access to a number of volunteer dogs (and cats!) who meet the criteria for animal blood donors. Ecko and her owner, Louisa, volunteered to help straight away, with Isis being a good canine friend of Ecko’s.
Isis received 470ml of donated blood, which meant she was able to undergo emergency surgery. Now several weeks post-op, Isis is fighting fit thanks to Ecko, which meant her body was able to clot her blood again and so made it through the emergency surgery. Isis is now several weeks post-op and thanks to her pal Ecko, she is fighting fit and back to bossing around her canine friends and family
Breed: German Shepherd
Favourite food: Raspberries
Happiest when: Working or playing
Pet Peeve: Going to bed late
Specialist Skill: Helping those in need
Breed: Border Collie
Favourite food: Any
Happiest when: Out running with her doggy friends and family
Pet Peeve: When the treats run out
Specialist Skill: A form of dog yoga called fitpaws
BECOME A DOGGY DONOR
To be a donor, your dog needs to be:
– Fit and healthy
– Between 1 and 8 years old
– Weigh more than 25kg
– Have a good temperament
– Ideally never travelled abroad
– Not on any medication