Every Cat Logo

Collecting blood donations in cats

Doolin KS, Chan DL, el al. Retrospective evaluation of unexpected events during collection of blood donations performed with and without sedation in cats (2010–2013). J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2017 Sep;27(5):555-560.

Blood donation with heavy sedation or general anesthesia has inherent risks, and feline donations without sedation as is done with dogs may have advantages. However, no assessments of blood donation without sedation have been done on cats.

The objectives of this retrospective study were to describe the unexpected events (UE) that occurred during blood donation in cats with and without sedation. Blood collection for transfusion was performed 115 times from 32 cats. Seventy donation events were in unsedated cats and 45 in sedated cats. For each collection, the anticipated blood volume to be collected, actual blood volume collected, sedation protocol, and any UE in the peridonation period were recorded.

There were 6 categories of UEs: movement during donation, donor anxiety, inadequate collected blood volume, jugular vessel related UEs, additional sedation requirement, and cardiorespiratory distress. UEs were recorded in 54 of 115 collections. In the donor population, movement was reported as an UE in 0 cats that donated under sedation and 24/70 (34.3%) cats that donated without sedation (P < 0.001). Donor anxiety occurred in 2/45 (4.4%) cats that donated under sedation and 14/70 (20.0%) cats that donated unsedated (P = 0.014). Unsedated donation did not increase the likelihood of inadequate donation volume, jugular vessel related UEs, or cardiorespiratory distress. Eight of 45 (17.8%) sedated donations required additional sedation.

Conclusions – Movement during donation and signs of donor anxiety were more frequent in unsedated cats. These were minor issues, expected in unsedated cats being gently restrained. Blood collection from unsedated feline donors is a viable alternative to sedated donation.

See also:
Spada E, Proverbio D, et al. Change in haematological and selected biochemical parameters measured in feline blood donors and feline whole blood donated units. J Feline Med Surg. 2017 Apr;19(4):375-381.