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Sock appeal for sick and injured Blue Cross pets

A cat wears blue knitted socks to keep his feet warm during his operation

Update: thank you so much to everyone who very kindly sent us socks following our appeal in February. We have been sent so many that we are running out of storage space so we cannot accept any more at the moment, but we have been overwhelmed by such kind generosity and are so grateful for your support. Thank you!

Sick cats and dogs at Blue Cross animal hospitals are calling on pet lovers to donate baby socks to help them get better.

Our veterinary teams use the tiny socks to keep pets warm while they are being treated under anaesthesia.

Elise Smith, Veterinary Nurse at Merton animal hospital in south London, said: “When animals are under anaesthetic, their body temperatures can drop. This can prolong their recovery time and have an effect on how quickly drugs are metabolised.

“At our hospitals we have many ways to reduce this problem, but one rather quirky way is to put socks on all anaesthetised patients. We use donated baby socks, but, as modelled by sleepy Dominic here, we also have knitted socks.

We would be really grateful for clean baby socks or washable handmade baby socks that we can use on pets during procedures.

a cat wears socks
Animals can lose heat through their paws when they are under anaesthetic so they wear socks to keep them safe and warm

Animals can lose heat through their paws when they are under anaesthetic, which can slow down how quickly the drugs get to work and the animal’s recovery time, so staff put the socks on them to retain body heat.

A dog wearing socks

One dog lover from Mitcham, Surrey, has hand knitted more than 20 pairs of socks for our Merton hospital. Carol May says it takes her about 90 minutes to knit two pairs of socks.

Retired Carol, who has two Yorkshire Terriers called Benny and Buddy says knitting the socks has helped to keep her occupied since she lost her husband Colin to terminal cancer in 2016.

Carol knits coats for her own dogs and got the idea to knit items for Blue Cross animals after visiting our hospital in Merton with her own pets.

Carol said: “They really are a fantastic team and knitting little socks for the animals makes me feel that I’m giving something back to Blue Cross for all the help they’ve given me. I can’t praise them enough.”

Elise added: “Mrs May takes the time to knit them in all different sizes for us, and bring them in. She is fabulous, and we are very grateful. Thank you Mrs May.”

If you would like to donate socks to one of our animal hospitals then please feel free to drop them into our Grimsby animal hospital, Hammersmith animal hospital, or Merton animal hospital, or send them to Blue Cross, 7 Hugh Street, London, SW1V 1QG.