- Pets and Animals
Dog and Cat Blood Types
Do Animals Have Blood Types?
Blood types have been a discussion in my family since we found out that my blood type is AB- and different from my parents. My son asked for a Blood Typing Kit and then asked "Do you think Shadow (our dog) has a blood type? "
That question stuck in my mind until I could do some research. This of course lead me to other research. I was amazed at the information I found. It was not quite what I expected. Read on, and we'll get to the bottom of this question. I will only cover domestic dogs and cats.
Canine Blood Types
You might be surprised to learn that dogs have more blood types than humans. So far approximately thirteen canine blood types are known to exist. Eight of these blood types are the most established and currently are recognized as the standard.
These canine blood groups are known as DEA (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen). They can have positive and negative factors just as in humans. Only negative factor blood should be given to canines with a negative factor. However, a canine with a positive factor blood type can receive either positive or negative.
Canines with a positive DEA factor can be considered universal recipients. Dogs with a negative DEA factor are considered to be universal donors.
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Feline Blood Types
Cats are possibly one of the most misunderstood creatures on the earth. It should be very simple. They are the masters and we are their subjects. Easy, isn't it?
Their blood types are even much easier than a dogs. There are only three. A, B, or AB. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
All cats should have a blood typing test done to determine their blood type prior to a transfusion or breeding. Mixing blood types in cats can have very severe reactions. Most cats in the United States will have Type A, but once outside the U.S., Type B will show more frequently.
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Blood Donors and Blood Banks
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Just as with humans, animals require blood transfusions sometimes. There are blood banks available but they require donors to keep the supply available.
To volunteer your dog as a donor, it needs to be between one and seven years of age, at least 50 pounds, in good health, not on any medication except for heartworm/tick prevention and current on all vaccines. He/She must be able to remain calm and well-behaved during the donation procedure. A potential donor will be blood typed and only those with a universal dog blood type are accepted. The procedure takes between 15 and 25 minutes.
If you're interested in having your pet become a blood donor, contact your local veterinarian or emergency animal clinic.
Cat donors are typically not volunteers. Many feline blood banks have their own in-house families of cats. Cats rarely will sit still or be calm during the procedure, so they are usually mildly sedated.
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I hope I've given you the information you were seeking when you ended up here.
Now, I have a question for you. Do you have pets? How many and what kind? I love all animals and would love to hear about yours :)