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Blood Transfusions in Cats

Roux, F. A., J.-Y. Deschamps, et al. (2008). “Multiple red cell transfusions in 27 cats (2003-2006): indications, complications and outcomes.” Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery 10(3): 213-218.

Feline critical care, and in particular transfusion medicine, has been advancing in recent years. It is generally accepted that blood transfusions are more difficult in cats than in dogs. A particular challenge is the cat that has suffered catastrophic blood loss or hemolysis, requiring multiple transfusions (massive transfusion). The goals of this study were to evaluate the indications, complications and outcome of multiple red cell transfusions (MrcTs) in cats; to describe those that received massive transfusion; and to compare them with those who received MrcTs over a longer time course. Twenty-seven cats were identified which received a total of 110 transfusions. The median age of cats was 6 years and cats were hospitalized for a median of 6 days. No acute transfusion reactions were documented. Sixteen cats survived to discharge and 11 died or were euthanized. Indications for transfusions included bone marrow failure, surgical loss, sepsis, neoplasia, and trauma. The researchers conclude that MrcTs are well-tolerated in cats and may be associated with a favorable outcome.
>> PubMed abstract

Related articles:
Iazbik, M. C., P. Gomez Ochoa, et al. (2007). “Effects of blood collection for transfusion on arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and PCV in cats.” J Vet Intern Med 21(6): 1181-4.
>> PubMed abstract