A blood transfusion for a dog can be required for many reasons. If your pup is anemic, has a disease or disorder that needs to be treated with fresh blood, was in an accident, and lost too much blood – they may have to get a blood transfusion. One other reason would be if the pup ingested something toxic which will have contaminated its existing supply of red cells–the new ones should help filter out the poison.
Since dogs have an immune system that could attack their own red cells in some extreme cases, this can lead to death without receiving a blood donation in time.
One of the most common uses for blood transfusions is during medical emergencies, such as a critical car accident or poisoning.
How much does a blood transfusion for a dog cost?
Usually, a complex blood transfusion for a dog will be priced at anywhere from $450 to $700 for the full amount of blood needed or around $120 to $300 per unit. This cost will be dependent on factors like the amount of blood needed, the vet or clinic you take your dog to, and your geographical location.
These costs will only cover the actual transfusion and wonțt include any additional hospitalization or medication the dog might need to get healthy. By the time you add all of the other expenses, you should be prepared for bills that can easily go over the $2,000 mark.
According to StraightDope.com, one unit of artificial blood derived from cattle costs $150.
Whole-Dog-Journal claims that the procedure could cost up to $1,000 for a dog suffering from an acute crisis depending on how many units are needed and the size of the dog, as well as other factors such as location or insurance coverage.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information obtained samples from 25 small animal practices, trying to determine how they got their blood transfusions and the direct costs. The study found that 75% of these medical establishments were obtaining whole 500-ml units at less than $100, while an average cost was ranging between $25-$300 per unit with most of the blood coming from dogs raised at the practice or borrowed pets.
Details on dog blood transfusion
In order to ensure the transfusion is successful, vets will make sure that donor blood matches. The process of matching donated canine blood with a recipient’s type is very much similar to the one developed for humans. Before this procedure can begin there are many steps that need to be taken care of including finding out what proteins are in each individual dog’s bloodstream so they know if it’ll match up or not; these include DEA 1.1, DEA 1.2, and so forth.
Your vet is usually going to have two options when it comes to blood transfusions: buying from a local blood bank or receiving from a dog with a similar blood type. Most emergency animal clinics will stock blood, but not every general practitioner’s office does and they’ll need either the help of a closeby donor dog or a blood bank.
After a preliminary test to find the perfect match, an IV will be placed for a blood transfusion. It can take four hours of careful monitoring and adjusting before their condition stabilizes. The vet looks very closely at all vital signs including body temperature, heart rate, or blood pressure in order to make sure everything is going smoothly so that they are made to feel better.
Any additional expenses to consider?
If you want to make sure that your pup is safe, it’s best to find out their blood type ahead of time. This can be done by a simple and relatively inexpensive test in advance (usually less than $50) – but this cannot happen during an emergency situation or when the dog needs its transfusion on the spot. This is why it’s best to get this test done for your pup as a preventative measure and have the blood type written somewhere in case something bad were to happen.
Important things to consider
In order to ensure the quality of blood transfusions, it is important for veterinarians or veterinary clinics that perform such procedures to have their own on-site screening process. This ensures a clean and safe supply with no risk of contamination. A reputable vet clinic will also store its stored blood for a maximum of 45 days before using it, the maximum time in which properly stored blood can be called safe to use. This blood usually comes from donor dogs.
A dog can have several immediate reactions to a blood transfusion according to PetMD, including fever, vomiting, weakness, incontinence, and shock. With small dogs, hypothermia is also possible because the blood has been frozen which will cause it to be very cold. Long-term effects are much worse since they take time to surface before you even know that there’s an issue at all! Heart failure or liver disease seem like some of the most common long-term effects after receiving blood transfusions.
If a transfusion needs to be done, it’s best if you take your dog to the specialist clinic. Most vets are able to perform this procedure on their day-to-day work; they’ll have time to sample and find a match for blood types.
The day may come when you need a blood transfusion, but it should be the last resort. These procedures are hard on your dog’s liver and can even suppress bone marrow production. To prevent any blood type mismatch from happening to your pup in the future, consider storing some of their blood for future use.
A veterinarian’s office may have a dog and cat on hand in case of emergencies so that they can quickly get blood donations when needed. You should also know that dogs don’t possess preexisting antibodies against foreign blood as people do.
Is there any way to spend less?
If you’re considering getting a transfusion for your pet, we recommend that you consult with several vet offices. Most offices will be more than happy to provide an estimate over the phone or by email; just don’t forget to ask about alternative options, if any, as transfusion should remain the last resort.
Consider purchasing your blood online, before the procedure is even performed. This can often be a cheaper route to take and you’ll know that it’s fresh.
Talk with a local veterinarian school about their procedures – students there may perform this service under supervision at significantly lower rates than most clinics offer.