Canine & Feline Blood Typing

Canine or feline blood typing requires submission of 1 to 3 ml of EDTA whole blood (purple top tube).

Ship in a styrofoam box with cold pack for overnight delivery. Do not freeze the sample tube.

Key Points

  • All canine and feline blood donors should be blood-typed.
  • Most serious transfusion reactions in cats are caused by alloantibodies in type B cats directed against type A red cell antigens.
  • Transfuse type B cats with type B blood, transfuse type A cats with type A blood.
  • Type A kittens born to type B queens are at risk for neonatal hemolysis.
  • Canine typing is most important for the DEA (dog erythrocyte antigen) 1 blood group; the DEA 1 group consists of two alternate alleles: 1.1 and 1.2.
  • Naturally occurring antibodies against DEA 1.1 and 1.2 are uncommon in dogs, but sensitization to these antigens occurs after transfusion of positive cells into a DEA 1 negative recipient. Once formed, these antibodies may cause:
    • Delayed transfusion reactions-shortened red cell survival
    • Acute transfusion reactions-hemolysis or anaphylaxis (especially DEA 1.1 incompatibility)
  • Dogs previously transfused with incompatible or unknown type red cells should be cross-matched before receiving a second transfusion.