there can be blood transfusions from dog to cat in case of emergency

Research conducted by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) into the administration of canine blood to cats is being used as part of a new webinar series by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA).

The webinar, which will be aired in June, will “allow vets and vet nurses to discuss various research papers and understand how the findings may impact clinical practice”.

“The research, which was published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP), explored the use of a xenotransfusion protocol – in this case the transfer of blood from dogs to cats – and the outcome in recipient cats,” a RVC statement says.

“The study has contributed towards helping inform vets all over the world about how dog blood can be used in this way.

“The findings showed that while this technique may seem unusual, it can be used in emergency situations when insufficient cat blood is available. The technique can be lifesaving however, it is generally only a short-term solution and cannot be repeated as it can lead to a fatal transfusion reaction due to the development of anti-dog red blood cell antibodies.”

During the session, vets will be given the opportunity to hear from, and share questions with two of the research project authors, Dr Alice Le Gal and Dr Karen Humm, from the RVC, to learn more about how the technique could be used in their practices.

Dr Karen Humm, Associate Professor in Transfusion Medicine and Emergency and Critical Care at the RVC, said, “We are really pleased our study was chosen by BSAVA, it’s an honour to be involved in this webinar series.

“There was very little information about how xenotransfusions can be used in cats in the veterinary literature before our study, and we hope that the information we report will help vets decide when and whether a xenotransfusion should be used.

“I also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the wonderful Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA) blood donors, both dogs and cats. Their amazing contributions, and their owners’ dedication, allow us to save lives every week in our ICU in the QMHA. They also allow us to learn more about transfusion medicine and we pass on the knowledge we gain to the whole veterinary community to hopefully improve animal care all over the world.”

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