Poorly pooch left fighting for her life is saved after a fellow pup DONATES BLOOD
Sissy, a mongrel, faced death until pitbull terrier Sandy stepped in
Had recently recovered from cancer but was later diagnosed with anaemia
The two canines are said to be 'inseparable after the experience'

Rachel Reilly


13:20 GMT, 20 February 2013



13:29 GMT, 20 February 2013

A dog fighting for her life has been saved after she received a rare blood transfusion – from a fellow canine.

Sissy, an 18-year-old mongrel, is only alive thanks to Sandy, a pitbull terrier.

Despite beating mammary cancer following an operation last summer, Sissy was struck down with ill health again after recently being diagnosed with anaemia.

Saved from the brink: Sissy with owner Omar Mozzi

Saved from the brink: Sissy with owner Omar after her blood transfusion

The dog's owner, Omar Mozzi, from Pagazzano in Italy was told that his canine companion wouldn't survive until his vet, Flavio Colombo Giardinelli, made the suggestion of a blood transfusion.

Flavio and Omar frantically searched for a donor and eventually found 18-month-old Sandy the pitbull terrier.

The unusual operation, which took
place in Treviglio, northern Italy, was a success and the two pooches
have since become the best of friends.

once in my entire 30 year career have I seen such solidarity between
two creatures,' said Mr Giardinelli. 'Pitbulls are often thought of as
ferocious but Sandy was very willing to help a fellow canine in

Omar Mozzi (far left) holds Sissy next to best friend Sandy the pitbull who is being stroked by vet Flavio Colombo Giardinelli

Owner Omar (far left) holds Sissy next to best friend Sandy the pitbull who is being stroked by vet Flavio

Mr Giardinelli, who also performed the operation, said a dog blood transfusions were not a common practice.

'Unlike humans, dogs are lucky enough not to have the problem of blood incompatibility,' explained Giardinelli.'However it's still very tricky to find a donor.'

There are a total of 12 blood types for dogs but just under half of all dogs have what is termed as a universal canine blood type.

This is important because only dogs with a universal dog blood type – DEA 1.1 negative – can be blood donors. Most dogs can receive the universal dog blood type, regardless of their own blood type.

Sissy (left) owes his life to the quick thinking of vet Flavio Colombo Giardinelli (right)

Reunited: Sissy and owner Omar Mozzi relax together after their ordeal

Sissy pictured with vet Flavio (left) and owner Omar (right) after his ordeal

The vet is trying to make my customers aware of the importance of allowing their pet to be a donor because it can be crucial to saving the life of an animal.

The UK has its own blood bank dedicated to pets. Set up in 2007, Pet Blood Bank UK is is the first and only charity of its kind that provides a canine blood bank service for all veterinary practitioners across the UK.

Just like the National Blood Service,
this dog equivalent collects from willing doggy donors at organised
collection sessions nationwide. The blood is then processed into packed
red blood cells and fresh plasma, and delivered to veterinary practices
throughout the country.

After the blood transfusion Sissy is on the road to recovery

Sissy is now on the road to recovery after her rare blood transfusion

Every unit of blood collected can help save four dogs' lives, saving thousands of lives every year.

Reflecting on the experience, Omar is overjoyed by the outcome of the transfusion, saying: 'My whole family is very fond of Sissy. She's an older dog and she sleeps a lot but she is very, very sweet.'

For more information on canine blood donation, visit the Pet Blood Bank UK website.