Animals and Blood Types

until at until at
Sat Jan 6 09:01:28 EST 1996

> From: pkmartin at ("Stock up and save. Limit one.")
> Subject: Animals and Blood Types
> Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 18:39:49 GMT
> ok.  so I've looked in "Fundamental Immunology" and "Cellular and
> Molecular Immunology" for the answer to this one and cant find it, so
> here goes:
> a colleague of mine said that he heard a story on the news involving a
> lcal veterinary hospital and a "donor cat", which was well cared for
> and served to "donate" blood for surgeries.  he asked whether animals
> have blood types (sounds like a loaded question to me, so be patient
> in your replies...).  a local vet told him that such procedures are
> rarely done, but he never really answered the question.

In addition to the other posts on this subject:  my understanding is that 
dogs, in particular, have 26 blood types.  There is at least one dog blood 
type that is general--kind of an umbrella blood type.  This blood type can 
be transfused into dogs of other blood types without causing reactions. 
Some vets do keep a donor dog of this blood type on the premises, usually 
when the animal has been abandoned by other owners.  Sometimes, the 
vet discovers a client's pet (must be a large dog, btw) with that particular 
blood type.  In this case, if the dog is large, such as an Akita, the vet may 
ask the client to allow his/her dog to become a blood donor for other, 
critical  patients.   A small/medium dog with the general blood type is not 
a suitable donor because, of course, the amount of blood required for 
most surgeries is beyond a small animal's capacity to donate and sustain 
its own life/health.

Hope this helps. 

  - Tara K. Harper
      until at

/   Even a thought   /
/     Even a possibility can shatter us and transform us   /
/                  - Nietzsche   / 

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