the following texts are taken from the package insert of RAPIDVET-H Blood Group Determination System for Identifying DEA 1.1 Positive and DEA 1.1 Negative Dogs.
"While it is broadly true that dogs do not posses isoantibodies to incompatible blood groups and thus will generally tolerate well an initial incompatible transfusion, sound practice of veterinary dictates that transfusions be avoided. The half life of the transfused incompatible cells will be quite short and, thus, the intended therapeutic result may not even be attained. also the potential future needs of the canine patient must be considered. Antiboides arising from a transfusion of incompatible blood may form in only 5-7 days and will have long-term viability. This eliminates the option of using incompatible blood in a future emergency situation.
Eight specific antigens have bee indentified on the surface of canine erythrocytes. The internationally accepted canine blood group system, the DEA (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen) is based on these antigens. It currently characterizes eight common blood groups, the antigens DEA 1.1, 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
DEA 1.1 and 1.2 are the most significant blood factors in the dog. Both are highly antigenic but DEA 1.1 is the primary lytic factor in canine transfusion medicine. Although all of the blood group antigens are capable of stimulating formation of isoantibodies, DEA 1.1 has the greatest stimulation potential. Thus most reactions resulting from the transfusion of incompatible cells occur when DEA 1.1 positive blood is given to a DEA 1.1 negative recipient. Clinically significant reactions to DEA 1.2 may occur but are less severe that reactions to DEA 1.1. DEA 7 may be a factor in transfusion reactions, but since it is a cold agglutinin and a naturally occuring isoantibody, it is considered to have very low clinical significance. The remaining antigens are considered to cause clinically insignificant transfusion problems."
Recently, I had a visitor. Troy, a previous patient of mine was brought not as a patient but to accompany another dog that showed signs of Blood parasitism during pregnancy. But this is not about her but Troy.
Troy was presented july of 2009 due to severe lethargy and weakness, bleeding from the mouth and inappetence. Further investigation revealed Ehrlichiosis and severe anemia. we were able to stabilize him but blood transfusion was needed.
On testing Troy's blood, we found out that he is DEA 1.1 positive. Our donor Diego is DEA 1.1 negative. Upon these findings, we prepared both the recipient and donor for the procedure.
Troy recovered swiftly and was discharged a few days later. I haven't seen him for follow up (grrr!) until today. He is now very healthy and is very active. The owners even joked that, he must be like this due to the Doberman blood.
Diego the donor