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Blood Transfusions in Cats

Most people have some familiarity with the concept of a blood transfusion, perhaps by donating blood to the local Red Cross, or possibly as a recipient during a hospital stay.Thankfully, most cat owners have very little experience with transfusions when it comes to their cat.Transfusions are infrequently performed in general veterinary practice, however, as cat owners become more willing to pursue state-of-the-art veterinary diagnostics and therapeutics for their beloved companions, advanced procedures such as blood transfusions are becoming more commonplace.
There are several reasons why a cat might require a transfusion, with anemia (a decreased amount of red blood cells) being by far the most common.Some veterinary clinics have a pet “hospital cat” that lives at the clinic and earns its keep by occasionally functioning as a blood donor in those rare times of need.For years, my hospital employed “Topeka”, a black and white domestic shorthaired cat who, besides providing us with yea…

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