Could your dog be a tissue donor?


22 May 2013

dog with lady

Signing your dog up for tissue donation means he could help another after his death.

It's not just humans who can offer and benefit from the noble gesture of tissue donation after death.

Veterinary Tissue Bank (VTB), the first of its kind in Europe and the UK, is dedicated to helping companion animals in need of allografts (tissue transplants) through its ethical pet donor programme.

Echoing the same principles as human tissue donation, the scheme allows owners to donate their deceased pets' soft tissue and bone tissue so it can be supplied to veterinary surgeries in the UK and Europe for allografts.

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"As an orthopaedic specialist, I was frustrated by seeing patients who needed grafts but not being able to access them," said John Innes, veterinary medical director of VTB.

"The demand has, at times, outstripped our ability to supply. There's a shortage of donors, like you can get in human medicine.

"A single donation can help as many as 30 – 50 pets."

There's no charge for owners who wish to donate their pets' tissues. Once tissues have been retrieved, VTB can organise a cremation and cover the costs, and the pets' ashes are returned to the owners.

The VTB is looking for new donors. If you're interested in registering your pet as a future donor, or would like more information about the scheme, visit the website here, call 01691 778769, or email here.