Ever heard of xenotransfusions – in other words, giving blood from one species to another species (like a dog to cat transfusion)?  Ken Yagi, a veterinary technician specialist in both emergency critical care and internal medicine, explains all about this. The popularity of xenotransfusions came into light thanks to social media recently based on a veterinarian in New Zealand giving dog blood to a cat supposedly intoxicated with an anticoagulant rodenticide.

While xenotransfusions can be performed for a first time transfusion, know that 100% of cats receiving a xenotransfusion had anaphylaxis, with 66% of the cats dying with 2nd exposure of a transfusion. For VetGirl, not worth the risk, when we can volume resuscitate them with crystalloids and colloids first. That said, there are some rare indications for it (e.g., if you live remotely with no access to blood anywhere within 24 hours!).


1. Bovens C, Gruffydd-Jones T. Xenotransfusion with canine blood in the feline species: review of the literature. J Feline Med Surg 2013;15(2):62-67.

2. Roux FA, Saï P, Deschamps JY. Xenotransfusions, past and present. Xenotransfusions. 2007;14(3):208-216.

3. Garcia JL. Journal Scan: Can canine blood be safely given to cats? DVM360. Feb. 1, 2014.

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