K9 Blood Donation Saves Lives

Animal Blood Types Groups in Dogs

Dogs Need Transfusions Too!!!  

Currently, eight to twelve or more canine blood groups are recognized, depending on which studies one consults. In all cases, these various blood groups are organized and categorized under the DEA system. The acronym DEA stands for Dog Erythrocyte Antigen. Blood groupings, or blood types, among dogs are specified by the letters DEA, followed by some number(s) denoting which DEA system antigens are present on the red blood cells of the dog in question.

For all canine blood group systems other than DEA 1, the red blood cells from a dog can be either positive or negative for that blood type. For example, a dog could be DEA 3 positive or DEA 3 negative. The DEA 1 system is different. It appears to have three separate subgroups: DEA 1.1 (also known as A1) , DEA 1.2 (also known as A2) and DEA 1.3 (also known as A3). A dog's red blood cells can be DEA 1.1 positive or negative. Further, DEA 1.1 negative cells can be DEA 1.2 positive or negative.

Cross matching and Transfusions in Dogs

In contrast to human beings and domestic cats, dogs do not seem to have any naturally occurring antibodies to other blood types. This has several important clinical implications: 

Blood cross matching, which is performed to detect antibodies in the recipients blood to antigens in the donor's blood, is less important in the dog, and may not have to be done at all if the recipient dog has never received a transfusion before (which frequently is the case). 

An initial blood transfusion into a dog that has never before received a transfusion is unlikely to cause a transfusion reaction.

Antibodies to foreign blood groups may develop in a dog within days of receiving a transfusion. So, if a dog has received a transfusion before, it should be cross matched to insure blood compatibility before receiving a second or subsequent blood transfusion.

In the veterinary literature, most of the emphasis on canine blood typing is placed on the blood groups DEA 1.1 and DEA 1.2. Evidently, these are the two most antigenic blood groups among dogs. Since DEA 1.1 is the single most antigenic blood group, most veterinarians recommend that DEA 1.1 positive dogs be avoided as general use blood donors. Note, however, that DEA 1.1 positive dogs can donate to other DEA 1.1 positive dogs with no problem. DEA1.1 negative and DEA 1.2 negative dogs are often referred to as “universal donors.”
Your dog must be 12 to 18 months old, they'll have some tests and a full check up, they must be fully vaccinated, wormed and flea free and obviously in good health.

Please speak to your vet regarding your dog being a K9 Blood Donor, you can't put a price on the gift of life and remember it could be you desperately needing a K9 Donor for YOUR dog someday!

So you've read this and have a few questions, *CLICK HERE* for a run down of the whole process

More information can be found at your veterinary practice



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