Fluffy Can Give Blood Too! Blood Transfusions in Cats

For the past month our local radio station has been bombarding us with adverts asking us to give blood due to increased need over the holidays. My husband and I ignored them at first but then eventually gave in. On the way home after giving blood, we started talking about cats donating blood and I realised it had been ages since I’d seen a feline blood transfusion. They are relatively uncommon, especially in general practice, but it’s an interesting subject so I thought I might look into it a bit further. Hopefully your cat will never need a blood transfusion, but if they do (or if you’re just curious about the whole process!), here’s a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes.

Why would a cat need a blood transfusion?

The main reason why cats get blood transfusions is because they are severely anaemic, which means they don’t have enough red blood cells in their blood. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying the body’s oxygen, so not having enough of them leads to serious problems. Anaemia can occur for three main reasons – not enough red blood cells are produced (problems with the bone marrow or chronic diseases such as cancer), too many are lost (major bleeding after an injury or surgery), or too many are destroyed (autoimmune disease or poisoning). Mild anaemia is not a problem and the cat’s body… read more

Urinary Incontinence in Bitches

We all dread our pets growing old, and one of the problems we tend to associate with ageing is urinary incontinence, or leakage. Although this happens mainly in older bitches, it is not a problem that has to be just lived with. In many cases there are treatments which can help control this, and can greatly improve quality of life.

Holly, a 13 year old Golden Retriever bitch, is a regular boarder at my kennels. Recently she developed urinary incontinence, and her owner feared she might have to be put down. The problem can be difficult to live with because of the smell, increased washing, damage to carpets etc. Just as importantly, it is distressing for the bitch herself who would like to keep herself clean but is unable to stop the leakage of urine.

Fortunately Holly’s owners discussed the problem with their vet who prescribed some treatment which now has the problem under control….

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