The basics of blood transfusion
The DMV Blood Bank allows us to save countless animals. Here is what you need to know about compatibility as well as the procedure itself.
CompatibilityVigilance is crucial when it comes to blood transfusions. The incidence and severity of post-transfusion reactions can be reduced considerably by efficient prevention methods. This starts with the verification of the compatibility between the donor and the recipient.
Compatibility in catsCats have natural Anti-A or Anti-B antibodies.
Compatibility in dogsA major blood compatibility test is strongly recommended, although it is not mandatory for a first transfusion. However, if the same dog requires a second transfusion after 4 to 6 days, the Major Cross Match test becomes mandatory since the animal might by then have developed antibodies against certain blood types. For fresh frozen plasma, the Minor Cross Match test is always recommended.
ProceduresDuring the transfusion, close monitoring is strongly advised. The animal’s vital signs must be checked every 15 minutes during the first hour and every half hour thereafter: heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse, mucus membranes, temperature, as well as hyper salivation, vomiting, tachypnea, dyspnea, tremors and edema. Most reactions generally occur in the first 30 minutes after the transfusion. During the 12 to 24 hours following the end of the transfusion, regular monitoring should be offered (check the pet’s vital signs every 2 to 4 hours) to detect possible delayed symptoms such as jaundice, hemolysis, hematuria, vomiting, diarrhea or pulmonary edema.
Blood transfusions are a necessity in the running of a veterinary practice. Every patient is unique regarding its blood needs and its risk factors. A transfusion might well save its life. It’s always gratifying to see an animal return home in better health after it’s received “a helping paw” from some generous donor.
Pictures of our donnors
To see the list of our donors, please click on the appropriate link:
Please contact us if you want more information about our blood bank and blood transfusion services.