Recently we had a female rabbit named "Annabelle" come to us in a serious condition. She had just given birth and unfortunately suffered a severe uterine haemorrhage. This is not an uncommon problem in rabbits. The haemorrhage was so severe that we were greatly concerned for Annabelle's life. She needed an urgent blood transfusion.
In the case of human medicine, blood is avalaible for transfusions however this is not that case with animal medicine. Often if pets need blood a donor animal needs to be found before a transfusion can be performed. On many occasions clients will use another pet of theirs or one of our nurses or vets volunteer their pets to be donors. In Annabelle's case she was an only rabbit so the search began to find another rabbit to be a suitable donor. Part of the work we do here at Vetwest is to find homes for stray animals. We have a very successful Cat adoption center that manages to place several cats and kittens into new homes every year. Occasionally other animals like birds/rabbits/guinea pigs end up as strays at our clinics. It was very lucky for Annabelle that located at our Beaumaris clinic was a stray rabbit called "Snowbelle" that could be a suitable donor.
The veterinarians Dr Cirsten Werndly and Dr Nicole Laing proceeded with the transfusion taking 20mls of blood from "Snowbelle" to give to "Annabelle". "Annabelle" required another 20mls of blood to be given the following day but after that she made a steady recovery. "Annabelle" was welcomed home that same afternoon after she showed great improvement and was eating and drinking well. What happened to "Snowbelle" you may ask? Well she was also welcomed home that day as a new friend for "Annabelle", sharing a special bond and now also a hutch.