Maple Vets Pet of the Month......Tilly!

Pet of the Month...........


This month we haved decided to award Tilly the border colllie pet of the Month. Tilly was brought to the surgery back in October because her owners were concerned that she was very quiet and not her usual self. The vet examined Tilly and found she had fast heart rate, pale mucous membranes, a low temperature and a very tender abdomen. Tilly was immediately admitted for investigation and treatment as the vet suspected Tilly may have an internal bleed. Blood was taken for analysis, this showed Tilly was anaemic and an ultrasound scan of her abdomen showed she had a mass possibly associated with her spleen or liver. Tilly was taken straight into surgery for the mass to be removed. Once inside her abdomen the vet found a large splenic mass which was bleeding, a total of 600mls of  blood was removed from her abdomen. The vet performed a splenectomy which involves the whole spleen being removed, this was carried out to ensure the whole tumour was removed and none left behind. Tilly's abdomen was then lavaged with sterile saline to prevent infection. Following the surgery Tilly was kept hospitalised while she recovered and so she could receive intravenous fluids, including fluids which also help to maintain her circulation following the blood loss, Tilly also received intravenous antibiotics and pain relief. The following day a blood test was performed as Tilly had lost quite a lot of blood so we needed to check her packed cell volume (PCV), this is the percentage of red blood cells in the blood. Tilly had PCV of 11%, if a dog's PCV drops lower than 15-20% a blood transfusion is required. A low PCV means the animal is anaemic, when the PCV is life threateningly low it can lead to coma, organ failure, hypothermia and death. Therefore Tilly received 1 unit of packed red blood cells which was given to her intravenously whilst she was closely monitored to ensure she did not show any signs of a transfusion reaction.

Like humans dogs have different blood groups, in the dog there are 8 different groups called dog erythrocyte  antigen (DEA) 1-8. Dogs can be blood typed to get an exact match however often DEA 1.1 negative blood is used as this is considered universal to both DEA 1.1 positive and negative dogs. Following her transfusion Tilly was again kept hospitalised for monitoring. The next day Tilly was much brighter and had begun eating again, her PCV was rechecked and had gone up to 34% which was an excellent sign that the transfusion had worked however there was the presence of blood in her urine which showed a minor blood transfusion reaction so antihistamines were prescribed for Tilly to prevent further reaction. Following a full examination the vet was happy to discharge Tilly and her owners were very glad to have her home again, Tilly came back for a few further checks but is now doing excellently and histopathology of the mass removed showed that the mass was benign which means a great prognosis for Tilly!

If you are interested in your pet becoming a blood donor please check out the pet blood bank website Canine Donor criteria:


  • Be aged between 1-8 years of age
  • Weigh more than 25kg
  • Have a good temperature
  • Never have travelled abroad
  • Be up to date on all vaccinations
  • Be fit and healthy
  • Not be on any medication