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Monday, December 26, 2011

Chums reunited: Bruno the cocker spaniel spends Christmas with the labrador who saved his life with a blood transfusion

By Daily Mail Reporter

For Bruno the cocker spaniel, Christmas 2010 looked like being his last.

A life-threatening blood condition was diagnosed and unless a suitable blood donor could be found, he had only hours to live.

Thankfully staff at the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals in Blackpool, Lancashire had records showing that Max the labrador was a perfect match.

Reunited: Bruno, left, and Max play together a year after a blood transfusion from Max helped save the life of seven year old Bruno

Max’s owner Luke McGarry agreed to bring him in, blood was taken – and within days Bruno was recovering.

A year on, the two dogs were introduced at the veterinary charity’s surgery and Bruno’s owner Stephen Metcalf was able to thank everyone involved. ‘If it wasn’t for them, Bruno wouldn’t be here today,’ he said.

Mr Metcalf, 50, took his seven-year-old pet to the PDSA after spotting blood in his urine, and staff realised there was no time to lose.

Four-year-old Max had been treated for a blockage in his gut some time earlier.

Mr McGarry was happy to repay the charity for its assistance and allowed vets to take just under half a pint of blood.

Senior vet Jennifer Jackson said: ‘It’s wonderful when cases have a happy ending and our thanks go to Luke and Max for coming to the rescue.’

'The odds of finding and getting the donor dog into the hospital for the transfusion within the short space of time we had were very much against us,' said PDSA (the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals) senior vet Jennifer Jackson.

Ms Jackson said: 'Max was a star patient, sitting quietly and still throughout. Half an hour after donating he was free to return home completely unaffected - apart from getting lots of fuss from the staff and his proud owner as well as a few well-deserved treats!

'Bruno was kept in intensive care for a couple of days afterwards to closely monitor his condition.

'Happily, he responded well and was allowed to return home.

Bruno's owner Stephen Metcalf, 50, from Blackpool, said: 'I've had Bruno since he was eight weeks old and he is such a big softie.

'He had been lethargic and not himself, and when I noticed the blood in his urine I knew something was wrong so I took him to be checked out at PDSA. I was stunned when they told me what was wrong - it really came out of the blue.

Christmas present: Bruno, left, and Max get ready to eat a treat

Together again: (Left to right) Bruno's owners Stephen Metcalfe and Laura Thain, Bruno (grounded), black Labrador Max, and Jen Jackson

'I can't thank Jennifer and PDSA enough. They are fantastic people and I can't express how grateful I am. I'm also indebted to Max and his owner Luke - if it wasn't for them, Bruno wouldn't be here today.

'His condition can come back at any time but I'm just glad for the extra time I've been given with him.'

Both dogs were in fine fettle when they met up at the hospital a year on following the blood transfusion.

Fit-again Bruno celebrated Christmas with a new bed, while his life-saving friend earned a new ball and his favourite dog chews.

■ Blackpool PDSA provides free veterinary treatment for the sick and injured pets of eligible owners in need. The charity relies on donations from the public to fund its services, which cost more than £700,000 a year to run.



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