Dog donor saves life of fellow four-legged friend

Boots and Little are forever connected. The two dogs are best buds after Boots saved Little’s life during a visit to the vet.

“They came back and they were like, ‘This dog’s been shot.’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean she’s been shot? She’s 11 pounds,’” said Erin Swilley, of Happy Trails Animal Rescue.

Erin Swilley, from Happy Trails Animal Rescue, took Little to her vet in Oviedo after rescuing her a few weeks ago. 

Little’s elbow was shot and shattered. The loss of blood was too much. 

“He had never seen a dog whose blood count was so low. He said she shouldn’t have been alive at all,” Swilley said.
“The dog didn’t have any blood. It was water. Pink water. That was it,” said Dr. Roman Pilip, a veterinarian at Aloma Jancy Animal Hospital.

The only way to save Little was to do a blood transfusion, but the blood bank Dr. Pilip uses is hours away in South Florida. 

So, Erin brought in her own dog, Boots, to donate blood. 

The vet said it was good that Boots was a big dog because he was able to give Little plenty of blood to keep her alive and healthy.

“As soon as they started the transfusion, her gums were as white as paper and they pinked right back up,” Swilley said.

It’s a common problem. Most small vet clinics don’t carry doggie donor blood. It’s only good for 30 days. So it comes from a blood bank, which is sometimes hours away, or emergency donor dogs like Boots. 

But, the need for more donors is critical as vets perform more transfusions.

“The pet ownership increased. The number of people increased. So yes, the needs are increasing,” Dr. Pilip said.

Now, Little is filled with Boots’ strong, healthy blood and the two are each other’s fur-ever friends.

“When I came to pick her up the next morning, I cried. It was the first time I’d ever seen her tail wag because she didn’t even move when I got her,” Swilley said.

If you’d like your dog to be a blood donor, contact your vet to find out more.