Max the Wonder Dog saves two lives with one donation!
By John Morgan | Dated April 8, 2020
At Gordon Vet we keep a reserve of feline and canine blood donors who are on hand to give a life saving gift as much as every 3 months.
This week 450 mL of Max’s blood was used to stabilise two dogs who came to Gordon Vet Hospital with an anaemia called immune mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA). This condition causes the immune system to attack red blood cells rupturing or “lysing” the cells which causes a low red blood cell count (anaemia). While this condition tragically may not be treatable long term, in some cases during the early stages of treatment a blood transfusion is needed to allow oxygen to continued to be transported around the body while we use drugs to stop the body attacking red blood cells.
Luckily for the two patients who were helped by Max, all three shared a common trait with their blood type – they were all DEA 1.1 Negative. Dogs have more than 12 blood groups, however DEA 1.1 is most commonly associated with reactions to blood transfusions and is the one we most regularly test. It is generally safe to transfuse a DEA 1.1 negative dog with the same blood type and safe to transfuse a DEA 1.1 positive dog with either blood group, however, if a second, third or fourth blood transfusion is required, all dogs must be “crossmatched” to ensure a reaction won’t occur. This is essentially testing the immune system of a dog before proceeding with a transfusion.
Max recovered well from his donation and awaits his next opportunity to save a life!
Cats can regularly be used as blood donors with much lower volumes of blood! Cats have major 3 blood types – A, B and AB. 99% of cats are type A and type B occurs commonly in certain breed of cats. Type AB is very rare. Joey is type B incase you were wondering and is often called to donate at other clinics as he is such a wonderful patient!