Were there blood types and is it important for you to know the blood type of your being? Although blood from a donor offers life-saving help, today we know that donor blood can carry parasites or viruses. In addition, all dog blood is not equal, just like humans, pets have different blood types and these differences are inherited. Incompatible blood donation can have life-threatening consequences.

What Are Blood Types

Blood groups and types vary and differences are inherited. Antigens on the surface of blood cells determine a type of blood. Antigens are proteins, carbohydrates, toxins or other substances to which the body reacts by producing antibodies.

When a dog has those specific antigens in its red cells, it is said to be positive for that particular group. If the red cells do not have a given antigen, then the animal is negative for that blood type. This is important because when a puppy is injured or sick, a transfusion with whole blood or blood components may be necessary to save the animal’s life. But giving the wrong blood type can have dire consequences.

Transfusion reactions

Humans (and cats) have very strong antibodies against the wrong blood type. System Our immune recognizes incompatible blood as foreign and attacks and destroys blood as if it were a virus or bacteria.

When a person receives a blood transfusion and the wrong blood is given, this transfusion reaction can quickly kill the individual.

However, the signs are not specific, so it can be difficult to know what went wrong. Signs include a change in heart rate, difficulty breathing, collapse, drooling, tremors, convulsions, weakness, vomiting, and fever.

Fortunately, harsh reactions are rare in dogs.

The first transfusions

Dogs rarely have natural antibodies the way humans and cats do, however. The dog’s immune system does not appear to immediately recognize inappropriate blood, but must first be exposed to incompatible blood before it can develop antibodies against it. For this reason, most dogs can receive a transfusion from another blood group the first time. After that, however, the immune system is “primed” to recognize foreign blood and if given again, a life-threatening transfusion reaction can occur.

Many times, the first transfusion of a dog is done under emergency circumstances to save the dog’s life. If he has never been transfused, it is likely that he will not have the opposite reaction to blood, even if it is incompatible. But it is advisable whenever possible – and always when your dog has been transfused before – to identify the dog’s blood type, in order to avoid sensitizing your dog’s blood and / or a life-threatening reaction.

Types and types of dog blood

You will find different numbers of dog breeds listed – as many as 13 group systems have been identified, but six are the most popular.

Dogs can be classified as positive or negative for each DEA ​​(canine erythrocyte antigen). An erythrocyte is a red blood cell.

The most commonly known dog blood groups are DEA-1.1, DEA-1.2, DEA-3, DEA-4, DEA-5 and DEA-7.

Some blood types cause more dangerous reactions than others, and the DEA-1.1 group is the worst offender. Dogs that are negative for DEA 1.1 and other blood types are considered “universal donors” capable of giving it to any other blood-stained dog. DEA 1.1 negative is in the retail dog.

Most dogs are DEA 1.1 positive and can give safe blood to another DEA 1.1. positive dog. Incompatible transfusion may result in accumulation and destruction of red blood cells. Usually, the reaction is immediate, but can be delayed for up to four days.

Some breeds have a predisposition to be DEA 1.1 positive or negative.

In the negative column, breeds that may be DEA 1.1 negative include: Greyhounds, Boxers, Irish Wolfhounds, German Shepherds, Dobermans, and Pit Bulls. Most often breeds DEA 1.1 are positive Golden Retrievers and Labradors. If your puppy is one of these breeds, it would be a good idea to squeeze the blood of your furry oysters.

Blood Banks and Dogs

Transfusion medicine has made great strides in the last decade as dogs and cats often require a transfusion as part of their treatment. In 1989, one of the first blood banks for pets was launched from the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston. A standard unit of whole blood is 500cc, or almost 17 ounces, while red blood cells and packaged plasma units are smaller. The size and extent of the animal disease determines how much it will need. A number of programs run by teaching veterinary hospitals, as well as private commercial entities, are currently available.

Some blood donor programs require a pet dog, based on several criteria including health, weight and age. Others in learning environments may have dog colonies (Greyhounds are common because most are DEA1.1 negative – but they are positive for DEA 3) that receive a lot of attention and treats for their participation and may later be approved. .

Veterinarians now have easy-to-use dog and cat type cards to display for the most dangerous blood types in their office. Cross-matching can also be done easily, and although it will not determine the type, it will indicate whether a transfusion reaction will occur or not. A drop of serum or plasma from the blood of the receiving animal mixed with a drop of blood from the future donor will accumulate when the blood is not compatible.