When does a dog need a blood transfusion? There are many reasons a dog may need a blood transfusion and the more serious the case, the more blood is needed.
- Von Willebrand disease
- Internal injuries due to physical trauma
The new blood works like a filter, to remove the contaminated ‘old’ blood and give the dog’s immune system a boost.
How much does a blood transfusion cost for a dog?
The cost of a dog blood transfusion is typically set per unit of blood, which can be as little as $100 right up to $250. The more units of blood your dog requires during a transfusion, the more expensive the procedure will be.
Other factors such as vet clinic fees and your location will also have an effect on pricing. You also need to consider any other treatment your dog needs, such as medication, blood tests or hospitalization.
How successful are blood transfusions in dogs?
The success rate depends upon the severity of the dog’s condition before the transfusion and how much blood they have lost.
In order for a blood transfusion to be successful, the veterinary team must first find a donor match for the sick dog.
Just like humans, there are several different canine blood types. A DEA 1 positive dog, for example, would reject DEA 1 negative blood.
A crossmatching test must be performed before any surgery. This involves testing the immune response to the donor blood to ensure the sick dog will experience any adverse reactions or reject the donor blood.
The veterinarian will then determine how much blood is required for the transfusion based on the dog’s weight and how much blood they have lost.
As with any emergency situation, treatment is not always successful. If the dog’s condition is critical before the blood transfusion, there is still a risk that they may not survive before the transfusion is complete, or they may not be strong enough to get through the recovery period.
Where does the blood come from for a dog transfusion?
The origins of the donor blood depend on where your vet clinic is located and if they have blood storage on site.
Many vet clinics have their own blood blank, with the ability to receive, test and store donor blood ready for emergency cases.
In the ideal storage conditions, donor blood can be stored as long as 45 days. This typically comes from local donations to the clinic or to nearby charities.
If the vet clinic does not have their own storage on site, they will need to arrange for blood to be delivered. This is similar to blood or organ transport for humans and is usually done by an emergency vehicle.