Animals and Blood Types

Ian A. York iayork at panix.com
Fri Dec 29 14:55:04 EST 1995

In article <pkmartinDKD2ID.Aut at netcom.com>,
Stock up and save. Limit one. <pkmartin at netcom.com> wrote:
>and served to "donate" blood for surgeries.  he asked whether animals
>have blood types (sounds like a loaded question to me, so be patient

Animals do have blood groups.  In some cases (eg cattle, as I recall) the
groups are much more complex than in humans.  In others (as in cats) most
are of one type (>90% type A in cats).  The risk of a single transfusion
is low, as the odds of a pre-existing response to the transfused blood is
slight.  Subsequent transfusions, of course, make the risk higher. 
I think there are specialized labs for typing animal blood.  In most 
cases, of course, this isn't done (as the transfusion is an emergency).  
I think you can do quick-and-dirty in-house assays to check for 
reactions.  I suspect that many clinics don't do even this, and play the 
odds when necessary; but I'm not an expert by any means.


Ian York   (iayork at panix.com)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston MA 02115
Phone (617)-632-3921     Fax  (617)-632-2627

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