SigMT Vol12 Iss 3

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Dogs and Cats Need Blood Transfusions, Too SiG MT 104 PET HEALTH 101 Text by Dawn Milligan Blood transfusions are not just for humans. Animals with certain medical conditions require transfusions for many of the same reasons. ey may be sick, injured or require major surgery in some instances. e most common is anemia due to trauma, such as being hit by a car. Ruptured tumors, the ingestion of rat poison, heavy infestation of blood-sucking parasites such as ticks, fleas and hookworms, these are all situations that may require emergency blood transfusions. Now, as veterinary medicine becomes more sophisticated, the need for blood product is greatly increasing. ere are several animal blood banks scaered across the United States, but it can take 24 to 48 hours to ship the blood product to a veterinarian. If a pet needs a blood transfusion, they need blood now. To solve this problem, some practices are implementing their own blood donor programs. Dogs or cats can be donors if they meet the following requirements: Eligibility for Dogs and Cats • Must be between the age of 1 & 6 years old • Must be in excellent overall health • Must have a good temperament • Must weight 55 lbs. or more (dogs)/ 10 lbs. or more (cats) • Must not be on any medications • Must be fully vaccinated • Never had a blood transfusion Blood Types As most people know, all blood is not the same. Many differences exist between species, which means that human blood cannot be given to a pet, and dog or cat blood cannot be used interchangeably. Before donating blood, your pet's blood is "typed" and classified into one of the following categories: Dogs 1. Universal - Any dog can receive Universal blood 2. Positive - Only Positive dogs can receive Positive blood Cats 1. A - Most common, but can only be given to Type A cats 2. B - More common in pure breed cats… can only be given to Type B cats 3. AB - Very rare, can be used for other Type AB cats only. On a side note, Greyhounds represent the bulk of donors in most major blood banks, and with good reason. ey typically have a universal blood type that any dog can receive. Dogs and Cats Need Blood Transfusions, Too

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