Canine packed red blood cell transfusions in Spain

Paolo Silvestrini, Martina Piviani, Daniela Vrabelova, Carlos Torrente, Rafael Ruiz de Gopegui

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Transfusion medicine is a relatively new and rapidly growing area of research in veterinary medicine. Packed red blood cell transfusion (PRBC) is indicated for treatment of symptomatic anemia resulting from hemorrhage, hemolysis, or ineffective erythropoiesis. The objective of this retrospective study was to identify clinical manifestations and underlying diseases of dogs that received PRBC and determine possible transfusion complications and outcome. Donors were blood typed and previously tested for infectious diseases potentially transmitted by transfusion (Ehrlichia canis, Borrelia burdogferi, Dirofilaria immitis, Anaplasma phagocytophila, Anaplasma platys, Babesia spp., Bartonella spp., and Rickettsia spp, and Leishmania infantum). Recipients were also blood typed and cross-matching was routinely performed before any transfusion. Packed cell volume (PCV) was performed before and after transfusion. Every PRBC transfusion was delivered by a bedside leukoreduction filter. Sixty-five PRBC transfusions were administered to 56 dogs. Twenty-two dogs resulted DEA 1. 1 positive and 34 DEA 1. 1 negative. Reasons for transfusion included anemia secondary to hemorrhage (n = 48; 74%), hemolysis (n = 8; 12%), and ineffective erythropoiesis (n = 9; 14%). Median PCV before transfusion was 14. 7% (range: 7-36%) and the mean post-transfusion was 21% (range: 9-39%). Mean increase in PCV was 6.5%. Thirty-one (70%) dogs were discharged and 17 (30%) dogs died or were euthanized. Transient hyperthermia was the only adverse reaction found. PRBC transfusion for symptomatic treatment of anemia is a safe and useful procedure, if the transfusion is closely supervised throughout its duration. © 2009 Springer-Verlag London Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-199
JournalComparative Clinical Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • Anemia
  • Donor dogs
  • Leukoreduction filters
  • PRBC transfusion

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