Is your cat….
– Completely healthy
– Fully vaccinated
– Up to date with flea and worm treatment
– At least 5kg
– Easy to handle
– 1- 8 years old
– no history of foreign travel
– no history of receiving blood via transfusion or giving blood in the last 3 months
Please phone us if you are able to help.
Spotlight on blood transfusions in cats!
There are many reasons why a cat may need a blood transfusion – typically it is due to severe anaemia, which can occur in a variety of illnesses. With dogs, there is a Blood Bank (www.petbloodbankuk.org), where the exact blood required can be ordered. However, in cats it is a little more tricky! There is no blood bank, which is why if a cat needs a blood transfusion, we rely on donor cats.
Cats have three blood groups – A, B & AB. They have naturally occurring antibodies to the other blood types, which is why transfusion reactions can occur even with the first transfusion.
In the UK, most non-pedigree cats are type A, while type B tends to occur in 50% of pedigrees, especially among British Shorthair, Ragdoll, Birman and Rex breeds. Oddly, most Siamese cats go against this rule and tend to be type A! Every cat giving or receiving a transfusion is blood typed.
All donor cats are also blood tested to ensure they are not carrying any transmissible diseases, such as FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) of FeLV (feline leukaemia virus). We also run biochemistry and haematology tests to ensure they are safe to donate.
Typically 40-50ml of blood is taken from a donor cat and slowly administered to the patient. The donor cat is placed on intravenous fluids to provide support and maintain their blood pressure. They often spend a few hours with us, occasionally staying overnight to ensure they are fully ready to go back home.
The blood is slowly administered to the patient, while being monitored at all times to check for any signs of reaction, which can include high heart rate, facial swelling or increased breathing rate.
We occasionally place a request on our Facebook page for blood donor cats and we are always overwhelmed with the response – thank you to all our wonderful clients who volunteer their little heroes to help out!
For more information, visit the link to the International Cat Care website or speak to us.
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