Blood Transfusions

At Riverside Animal Care Center, it is our mission to provide the most elite veterinary services to your pet. We are able to administer blood transfusion services to treat your pet.

Cat SurgeryWhy Might My Pet Need A Blood Transfusion?

Believe it or not – cats and dogs need transfusions for the same reasons that humans do. Some specific diagnoses requiring a blood transfusion may be:

  • Traumatic incidents
  • Varying forms of cancer
  • Major or minor surgeries
  • Infectious diseases
  • Blood disorders
  • Poisonings that requires blood flushing
  • Organ failure – specifically kidneys or livers
  • Low levels of protein
  • Chronic anemia
  • Hemorrhaging

Are Blood Transfusions Performed “In-House” at Riverside?

Yes! In emergency care situations, Riverside Animal Care Center is able to provide blood transfusions to your cat or dog. Whole blood, packed red blood cells, fresh plasma and frozen plasma are available from several local animal blood banks.

We can generally have a blood transfusion ready in our hospital within an hour. We also have fresh frozen plasma for both dogs and cats in stock for emergency situations when our patients need proteins, clotting factors or colloidal fluid support.

How Does A Transfusion Work?

The first step in completing a blood transfusion for your pet is to distinguish you pet’s blood type. Obtaining the proper blood type for cats may be slightly more difficult than it is for dogs. Cats must be transfused with a specific blood type or else the results could be incredibly dangerous. Unlike dogs and humans, felines build naturally occurring antibodies against any other blood type, resulting in more difficulty matching specific blood types.

Once the blood type for your pet has been established, the next step is to find a donor. Depending on the specific type of blood your cat or dog needs – whole blood, red blood cells, or plasma – we are able to obtain blood from local blood banks around the Columbus area.

Once the blood has been received from the donor, the transfusion process continues as follows:

  • The blood donation bag will be attached to your pet through a blood administering syringe and/or catheter.
  • The proper amount of blood and infusion rates will be calculated, depending on the medical circumstance of your pet.
  • As the blood begins to transfuse, your pet will be carefully observed for any external reactions (swelling, vomiting, etc.) Your pet’s respiratory rate and pulse will be cautiously monitored as well.
  • Once the proper amount of blood has been successfully transfused, your pet will be closely monitored for a short time.
  • If no problems are present, your pet will be cleared to head home with you.

Post-Transfusion Reactions

After your pet receives a blood transfusion, you should be aware of some of the reactions your cat or dog may experience. Reactions are generally similar between both cats and dogs. Reactions are classified into two categories: Acute and Delayed.

If a reaction were to occur, most would happen throughout the duration of the transfusion process or shortly after, known as acute reactions. Acute Reactions may include:

  • Vomiting
  • High fevers
  • Evident weakness
  • Swelling
  • Signs of shock – tremors, shivers, extreme trembling

Delayed Reactions simply include ineffectiveness of the transfusion. You can test your cat or dog for a delayed reaction through a urine test, a bacteria analysis of the transfused blood, or a retest of the animal donor’s blood.

Any Questions?

A blood transfusion may be the exact procedure to save the life of your beloved cat or dog. We care deeply about the health of your pet and we are here to help in any way we can. If you have additional questions or concerns regarding the benefits and risks of blood transfusions, please feel free to contact us.