Blood Transfusion | Blood Groups:
Animals and bacteria have cell surface antigens referred to as a blood type. Antigens from the human ABO blood group system are also found in apes such as chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas. Other animal blood sometimes agglutinates (to varying levels of intensity) with human blood group reagents, but the structure of the blood group antigens in animals is not always identical to those typically found in humans. The classification of most animal blood groups therefore uses different blood typing systems to those used for classification of human blood. A Blood transfusion is the process of receiving blood products into one’s circulation intravenously. Transfusions are used in a variety of medical conditions to replace lost components of the blood. Early transfusions used whole blood, but modern medical practice commonly uses only components of the blood, such as red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, clotting factors, and platelets.
Blood transfusions typically use two sources of blood: one’s own (autologous transfusion), and one from another animal (allogeneic transfusion). The latter is much more common than the former. Using another animals blood must first start with donation of blood. Blood is most commonly donated as whole blood intravenously and collecting it with an anticoagulant. The product is individually traceable through the whole cycle of donation, testing, separation into components, storage, and administration to the recipient. This enables management and investigation of any suspected transfusion related disease transmission or transfusion reaction. The donor is sometimes specifically recruited by or for the recipient, typically a family pet, and the donation occurs immediately before the transfusion.
Various species require different levels of testing to ensure a compatible match. For example, cats have 3 known blood types, cattle have 11, dogs have 12, pigs 16 and horses have 34. However, in many species (especially horses and dogs), cross matching is not required before the first transfusion, as antibodies against non-self cell surface antigens are not expressed constitutively – i.e. the animal has to be sensitized before it will mount an immune response against the transfused blood.
The rare and experimental practice of inter-species blood transfusions is a form of xenograft.
Canine blood groups:
Over 13 canine blood groups have been described. Eight DEA (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen) types are recognized as international standards.   Of the DEA, DEA 4 and DEA 6 appear on the red blood cell of ~98% of dogs. Dogs with only DEA 4 or DEA 6 can thus serve as blood donors for the majority of the canine population. Any of the DEA may stimulate an immune response in a recipient of a blood transfusion, but reactions to DEA 1.1+ are the most severe.
As transcribed by DMS Laboratories, Inc: The most important canine blood type is DEA 1.1. Dogs that are DEA 1.1 positive (33 to 45% of the population) can be considered to be universal recipients – that is, they can receive blood of any type without expectation of a life-threatening Hemolytic Transfusion Reaction (“HTR”). Dogs that are DEA 1.1 negative can be considered to be universal donors. Blood from DEA 1.1 positive dogs should never be transfused into DEA 1.1 negative dogs. If it is the dog’s first transfusion the red cells transfused will have a shortened life due to the formation of alloantibodies to the cells themselves and the animal will forever be sensitized to DEA 1.1 blood. If it is a second such transfusion, life-threatening conditions will follow within hours. In addition, these alloantibodies will be present in a female dog’s milk (colostrum) and adversely affect the health of DEA 1.1 negative puppies.
Feline blood groups:
The commonly recognized system of feline blood designates cats as A, B, or AB. The vast majority of cats in the United States are Type A, but the percentage of Type B cats increases in other countries, such as Australia. Type A and B cats have naturally occurring alloantibodies to the opposite blood type, although the reaction of Type B cats to Type A blood is more severe than vice versa. Based on this, all cats should have a simple blood typing test done to determine their blood type prior to a transfusion or breeding to avoid the haemolytic disease (or neonatal isoerythrolysis).
Equine blood groups:
There are eight recognized blood groups in the horse: A, C, D, K, P, Q, T, and U.
Risks of transfusions
Of course as with any medical procedure when dealing with internal medicine. Transfusions of blood cells is always associated with some medical risk, which can be broadly categorized as immunologic transfusion reactions, or non-immunologic complications.
Immunologic reactions include acute hemolytic reactions, delayed hemolytic reactions, febrile nonhemolytic reactions, allergic reactions, and transfusion purpura. Nonimmunologic complications include infections, volume overload, lung injury, hypothermia, and coagulopathy.
The risks of complications usually increase with increasing frequency and the volume of your pets transfusion.
Blood Transfusion Pet Care
Our modern facility, modern technology and full service hospital, are some of the reasons why Brickyard Animal Hospital is the best choice for your pet’s health. But our staff and doctors, are definitely our most valuable assets. At Brickyard Animal Hospital, we treat every patient like it’s one of our own pets. Our friendly and professional staff make every effort to comfort and care for your pet whether they come in for a regular check-up or major surgery. Your pet’s health and comfort is our number one concern. Our team makes up the most important part of The Brickyard Advantage, and that means a quality PetCare Network and service for you and your pets!