Do Animals Have Different Blood Types?

Humans and pets are alike in so many ways. Just as we have different blood types, so do our furry friends. Knowing about your pet’s blood type can be helpful in emergency situations. Here are some things about animal blood types that every pet owner should know.

Cat Blood Types

Unlike humans that have four blood types, cats only have three. Types A and B are common ones while AB is a rare type commonly seen in Absynnian cats. Like us, they exhibit negative reaction to blood transfusions of a different type of blood. Cats with type B blood generally show severe reactions to type A blood because of their present antibodies. Cats with type A blood, on the other hand, are more tolerant of type B transfusions. AB blood can be transfused to cats of all types without any adverse side effects. However, type AB blood occurs in only 1% of cats. In emergency situations, it is important that your pet is properly typed before any transfusion can be done. Transfusions of the wrong blood type would normally result in the death of the cat.

Dog blood types

There are 8 common blood types for dogs. Unlike humans and cats, they do not have naturally occurring antibodies in their blood. This means that they do not exhibit any negative reaction with a transfusion of another blood type. Earlier, it was believed that dogs did not have different blood types because of this characteristic.

This is very helpful, especially in emergency situations where blood has to be given to the dog. However, owners should take note that once a transfusion has been made, the dog will develop antibodies against the donor blood type so in the event they may need another transfusion, the proper type must be administered to avoid the body rejecting it.

Pet blood donation

In the event of an emergency, pet blood banks become of great help. Just as we humans can donate our blood to those who need it; pets can also help other sick pets. The blood type of pets can now be determined using sets that comprise of antibody strips. There is no compensation for blood donations made by pets but you may get discounts for veterinary services if you donate at the same place. Different qualifications set by the state have to be met before pets are allowed to donate blood. Pets should be at a healthy weight, free from medication, have no heart illness, and have no blood infectious diseases. There are only a few blood banks for pets in the country so if your pet is not afraid of the vet and matches all of the mentioned criteria, donating blood may be a good idea.