You learn something new every day. While I knew that dogs and cats can get blood transfusions, it turns out that it's quite difficult to determine the animal's blood type. What this means is that while a dog or cat can get a transfusion the first time it is needed, he or she cannot get another transfusion after that because the animal's body will reject it because of the first transfusion. And I thought veterinary knowledge had worked all these sorts of things!
Well, it seems that there is progress being made on a more reliable method to determine a dog or cat's blood type in Australia. A PhD student at the University of Melbourne has come up with the first step to tackling the problem. She was able to determine cat and dog blood types using artificial antibodies, which is a huge step. This also means no more using mice and rabbits to determine blood type. Her boss and coworker volunteered blood from their own dogs, Annie and Puddles. There is still a lot of work to be done to commercialize the method but it's a great first step to a big problem. Here is the press release from the university.
Have any of you ever had a transfusion for your cat or dog? Did you know about the issues around finding out blood types for cats and dogs?