You may not have known it, but dogs can also benefit from blood transfusions when their health condition requires it. The donation must of course come from a canine. Discover with us the risks, constraints and conditions for donation and transfusion.
Why a transfusion?
Dogs with spleen problems, severe poisoning, autoimmune diseases, surgery or severe accidents that cause hemorrhaging will need blood transfusions to recover from their injuries. Dogs with anemia or bleeding disorders may also require blood transfusions.
Which blood type?
There are 8 different blood types in dogs. In the case of a first transfusion, the dog can receive any blood type, but if a second transfusion is necessary, the veterinarian will prefer to do tests to ensure compatibility.
What are the conditions for becoming a donor?
In France, the dog must respect the following criteria to be able to give blood:
- Be between 2 and 8 years old
- Weigh more than 25 kilos
- Be up to date with vaccinations and dewormed regularly
- Be in good general health
A female dog who has had puppies or a pregnant female dog cannot give blood. A dog that has already been transfused during its life cannot give blood either.
The veterinarian will first test the compatibility of the donor and recipient blood. The blood will then be brought to the ideal body temperature of the dog, 38°C.
The infusion is placed either in the forearm or in the neck. The transfused dog is hospitalized and placed under strict surveillance to ensure that the dog does not reject the transfusion or deteriorate in general condition.
How does the donation work?
The sample is taken in the neck, in the jugular vein. The dog is not anesthetized but a local cream can be applied for more comfort. The sampling usually takes 20 to 30 minutes.
The amount taken depends on the total weight of the animal, a maximum of 20% of its blood volume will be taken. A dog's blood volume is usually 90ml per kilo.
A dog can give blood between 3 and 4 times a year, like us humans.
Like us, it is necessary to plan a good nutrition and hydration before and after, as well as two days of rest.
A blood donation can be kept for up to 15 days, which is why donations are often used immediately after collection.
It is very different in felines, transfusions are extremely rare because it is essential for them to receive blood of the same blood type, otherwise cats risk fatal shock. There are 3 different types of blood types in cats.
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