Who owns a dog or cat he hardly thinks that even his four-legged friend could, even better, donate blood. Because pets often need transfusions, just like humans. June 14th is the world blood donor day, an appointment that AniCura, the largest group of hospitals and veterinary clinics in the country, has decided to celebrate, reminding all owners of dogs and cats that our four-legged friends can also donate.
“Just like for us humans, it is important that our animals are also guaranteed the security of having potential blood donors available. – declares Stefano Caporali, Country Manager AniCura Italy. Our clinics are always looking for donors to keep on an availability list that would make it possible to have bags immediately available in case of planned interventions or emergency interventions “.
Making your pet available as a donor is very simple, it is in fact sufficient go to one of the AniCura clinics present in the area and express their availability: a general clinical visit will be made and together with the veterinarian it will be decided whether the candidate is valid for the donation. Together with the visit, if necessary, blood tests will also be carried out, the results of which will be available free of charge to the owners.
“Our dogs or cats can be excellent donors but it is important that this is determined following a veterinary visit – declares Chiara Cambi, Country Veterinary Manager of AniCura – there are general criteria: as for people, in the case of a dog it is important that he is fit and healthy, he must be between one and eight years of age, weigh more than 25kg and not be subjected to drug treatment, in addition to have the vaccination booklet in order. Same criteria for a cat, which can be a donor up to 10 years of age, as long as it weighs at least 4 kg “.
Just like in humans, blood groups also exist in dogs and cats; these are determined by some receptors, called antigens, able to stimulate the production of specific antibodies. These antigens are inherited, found on the surface of red blood cells and are responsible for the onset of immune transfusion reactions that can sometimes follow a transfusion. In the dog we find seven blood groups, identified with the term DEA (Dog Erytrocytes Antigen), DEA 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. Among these, the most common is the DEA 1 group, in turn divided into positive and negative, which is also the most important from a clinical point of view as it is the one that can cause the most severe reactions. The dog with group DEA 1 negative is considered the universal donor (like human beings of type 0 negative), as it can donate its blood even to positive DEA 1 subjects; on the other hand, they can only receive blood from subjects with the same group. Instead, DEA 1 positive subjects are considered universal recipients (such as AB positive humans), as they can also receive DEA 1 negative blood, but can only donate to dogs with the same blood type.
In the cat, on the other hand, there are three blood groups: A, B and AB. The most represented group is that A, present in 95% of common cats. Group B is decidedly less frequent and can be found especially in some breeds such as the British Shorthair, the Devon Rex and the Persian. The AB group, on the other hand, is very rare. There is no subject considered a “universal donor”: just like humans, the cat is extremely sensitive and subject to transfusion reactions. Therefore, all subjects can only receive from others with the same blood group.
Here are some useful addresses:
REV – Blood transfusion center for dogs and cats Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Milan via Ponzio 7 – Milan – Tel. 02 50318164-80-88 email: firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com
EMOVET – Veterinary blood bank and transfusion center Department of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Perugia via San Costanzo, 4 – Perugia – Tel. 075 5857661 email: firstname.lastname@example.org The center of Perugia was born as a department of the Internal Medicine section of the Department of Diagnostic Pathology and Veterinary Clinic of the University, the first of the center Italy to have introduced a blood bank for the storage of collected blood. Provides a service aimed at the patients of the Faculty’s Educational Veterinary Hospital, citizens and their animal friends as well as freelance vets
Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of the Venezie, Banca del Sangue – Legnaro (Pd) www.izsvenezie.it Tel. 049 8084211 email: email@example.com
Colombo Giardinelli Flavio http://www.veterinariogiardinelli.it Via A. Crippa 28 / A – 24047 – Treviglio (Bergamo) Tel. 0363419390 email: firstname.lastname@example.org – email@example.com