Frequently Asked Questions

Canine and Feline Fresh Frozen and Frozen Plasma FAQ

Testing on random samples at a veterinary diagnostic laboratory has shown our dogs have IgG levels between 1000-1400 mg/dL. Published IgG levels in healthy vaccinated adult dogs range from 670-1650 mg/dL.

No, only fresh whole blood which has not been refrigerated has viable platelets.

Yes, this is a custom order product. Please call (800) 243-5759 for more details.

Fresh frozen/frozen canine plasma products are not type specific from our facility because our procedures minimize RBC contamination and all donors are DEA antibody negative.

Yes, feline plasma is type specific due to the presence of alloantibodies in cats.

If the product arrives thawed and the temperature is less than 53.6° F, it can be refrozen and used as frozen plasma. Be sure to re-label the product as “frozen plasma” and add 4 years to the original expiration date shown on the label – however, this plasma will not contain any of the labile coagulation factors that are present in fresh frozen plasma. If the product is above 53.6° F it must be used within 24 hours.

If the product arrives thawed and the temperature is less than 50 ° F, it can be refrozen. If the product is above 53.6° F it must be used within 24 hours.

As long as the plasma was maintained in the refrigerator for a period less than 26 days it can either be refrozen or maintained in the refrigerator. If you choose to refreeze the thawed product re-label it as “frozen plasma” and add 4 years to the original expiration date. If you choose to maintain the product in the refrigerator, you must use the thawed plasma within 26 days – however, this plasma will not contain any of the labile coagulation factors and should be relabeled as “frozen plasma” (as opposed to fresh frozen plasma).

As long as the plasma was maintained in the refrigerator for a period less than 26 days it can either be refrozen or maintained in the refrigerator. If you choose to maintain the product in the refrigerator, you must use the thawed plasma within 26 days.

As long as the plasma was maintained in the refrigerator for a period less than 26 days it can either be refrozen or maintained in the refrigerator. If you choose to refreeze the thawed product re-label it as “frozen plasma” and add 4 years to the original expiration date. If you choose to maintain the product in the refrigerator, you must use the thawed plasma within 26 days, however this plasma will have no labile coagulation factors and should be relabeled as “frozen plasma” (as opposed to fresh frozen plasma).

As long as the plasma was maintained in the refrigerator for a period less than 26 days it can either be refrozen or maintained in the refrigerator. If you choose to maintain the product in the refrigerator, you must use the thawed plasma within 26 days.

The answer depends on whether the thawed product was allowed to reach room temperature (defined as 12°C (53.6°F)) for longer than 15 minutes:

Fresh frozen plasma, either canine or feline, can be used as frozen plasma for four additional years after the original expiration date listed on the label. It will not have functioning labile coagulation factors. Be sure to change the label to “frozen plasma” and add 4 years to the expiration date.

Expiration dates of frozen plasma are assigned to protect the safety of the transfusion recipient. We cannot recommend the use of frozen plasma after its five year expiration date.

Dividing one bag of plasma into smaller units requires aseptic technique and sterile specialized transfer bags and ports. This practice is not recommended outside of specialized veterinary blood banks. However if you have a sterile blood transfer bag (click for Transfer Bags & Sets) and you use aseptic technique you may continue to store the plasma. However, the veterinary practice assumes all responsibility when conducting this procedure. ABRI sells fresh frozen/frozen plasma in varying sizes to accommodate varying sized dogs.

This is called cryoprecipitate – it is a concentrate of clotting factors and is visible when the product is not completely thawed. Simply allowing the bag to further warm will allow the cryoprecipitate to dissolve. If after being warmed to body temperature the flocculent material has not dissipated, do not use and call us immediately for further instructions (800-243-5759).

The liver is the primary site of synthesis of coagulation factors except factors V, VIII, and vWf. If you need a plasma product for use in coagulopathy of liver disease, either fresh plasma or fresh frozen plasma may be utilized.

Canine Blood Types FAQ

Research studies have identified up to 11 blood types of dogs based on the presence/absence of RBC antigens (Called Dog Erythrocyte Antigen or DEA). However in routine transfusion medicine, there are only five blood groups considered. These are groups DEA 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7. DEA 3 and 5 have minimal significance. DEA 1 was previously hypothesized to have three distinct subtypes. Recent studies utilizing flow cytometry have demonstrated the three hypothesized subtypes are different expression levels of the same antigen. Dogs may have only one blood group or they may have a combination of groups. Most dogs have a combination of blood groups. Group DEA 4 has a prevalence of 99.9% positivity, and as such is not significant.

The life span of appropriately matched red blood cells in the dog may be as long as 120 days if concurrent hemolysis is not occurring. If a hemolytic syndrome is the cause of the anemia, the life span of the transfused RBCs will be diminished.

DEA 1 is highly antigenic and is the main blood type responsible for acute, severe, hemolytic transfusion reactions in dogs. If a DEA 1 negative dog (this dog does NOT have DEA 1 blood type) receives blood from a DEA 1 positive dog, there is a high likelihood of a transfusion reaction if the dog has received a prior transfusion and/or has antibodies to the DEA 1 Antibody.  Even if a DEA 1 negative dog has not had a prior transfusion, there is always the possibility of a transfusion reaction if the dog receives DEA 1 positive blood due to the inherent idiosyncratic nature of transfusions. Approximately 45-55% of the canine population is positive for DEA 1.

Any dog which has a DEA 1 isotype is considered a DEA 1 positive dog and can be be transfused with DEA 1 positive blood. A dog which is DEA 1 negative should not be transfused with DEA 1 positive blood to mitigate the possibility of transfusion reactions.

Though dogs typically lack naturally occurring alloantibodies to DEA 1, administration of DEA 1 positive blood to a DEA 1 negative dog will result in formation of anti DEA 1 antibodies within 10-14 days. As a result, recipients may develop a delayed transfusion reaction to the first transfusion or severe immunologic reactions can develop upon subsequent re-administration of DEA 1 positive blood. The incidence of transfusion reactions following a random second blood transfusion has been estimated to be 15%.

Approximately 25% of random first blood transfusions will be DEA 1 incompatible (i.e. – DEA 1 positive blood administered to a DEA 1 negative dog) and result in development of anti DEA antibodies in the recipient.

There are several methods to determine the presence or absence of certain blood types in dogs. If you wish to do testing in your clinic, we recommend the use of an Alvedia or Rapid Vet card blood typing kit (click for Hematology Supplies). This kit only determines the presence or absence of blood type 1 in dogs. It does not determine whether a dog also has types DEA 3, 4, 5 or 7 nor does it determine whether the dog has antibodies to the DEA 1 blood type.

If you want to determine a more complete blood type profile, our laboratory can provide these services for you. (click for Canine Tests) At the present time, our laboratory can determine the presence/absence of the following blood types in dogs: DEA 1.1, 1.2, 4, and 7. Typing for the presence/absence of DEA types 3 and 5 is not available at this time (see FAQ below). Our lab also tests for the presence/absence of DEA antibodies which are postulated to be clinically significant if the dog in question is going to be used as a donor. All of ABRI’s donor dogs are tested prior to utilization in our program and they are DEA antibody free.

At this time, production of antisera for identifying DEA 3 and 5 is not available. The probability is only about 5% that a dog would be positive for DEA 3 or 5. In the event that DEA 3 or 5 is present, a delayed removal of red cells from circulation after transfusion may result (this as opposed to the acute hemolytic reaction caused by DEA 1 antigen/antibody interactions which places a dog at immediate risk.) To avoid the unlikely reaction from an incompatible DEA 3 or 5 transfusion, a cross match test should always be performed prior to each transfusion. (Click for Hematology Supplies) This should always be done as a matter of routine regardless of blood type as a cross match will identify any rare reactions blood typing alone does not identify.

Fibrin interferes with DEA antibody determination so serum is preferable. Lipidemia also potentially confounds testing so a fasting serum sample is recommended.

No, as the cards rely on agglutination for accurate results, if the pet has autoagglutination the cards are not reliable. The Alvedia test kit has been shown to be reliable in autoagglutination. The reference is:

Comparison of gel column, card, and cartridge techniques for dog erythrocyte antigen 1.1 blood typing. Seth et. al. JAVMA 2012. Volume 73, number 2, pages 213-219

Heparinized blood cannot be used with the Alvedia typing kits. You may use EDTA or citrate blood.

Canine Lyophilized Albumin FAQ

Un-reconstituted canine lyophilized albumin is stable at room temperature thus it may be shipped to you without ice packs. We recommend long term storage of the un-reconstituted canine lyophilized albumin in the refrigerator as refrigeration provides a stable temperature.

Yes. Un-reconstituted canine lyophilized albumin is stable at room temperature. However we recommend refrigerator storage of the un-reconstituted product as refrigeration provides a stable temperature.

Six hours.

Once reconstituted the product must be used within six hours. The reconstituted product must be kept refrigerated until ready to use to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.

Yes as long as the IV fluid is 0.9% NaCL without additives.

Canine Lyophilized Cryoprecipitate FAQ

Yes, as long as the bag contained no other fluids or medicines other than 0.9% NaCL and aseptic technique is used.

Un-reconstituted lyophilized cryoprecipitate is stable when kept at a temperature between 34-43°F (1-6°C). Un-reconstituted lyophilized cryoprecipitate must be stored in the refrigerator.

No, there is no guarantee as to the stability of the clotting factors once the product, even if un-reconstituted, rises to a temperature above 43°F (6°C).

Administration within two hours of reconstitution is recommended. Due to the delicate nature of the clotting factors it is recommended that this product be rehydrated immediately prior to use. Allowing the reconstituted product to sit will, over time, result in decreased potency due to clotting factor degradation.

Twenty four hours if refrigerated. Room temperature storage of reconstituted cryoprecipitate is not recommended due to degradation of labile clotting factors.

Yes, but it must be used within 24 hours of rehydration.

One vial (unit) per 10 kilograms of body weight.

The goal is to have active clotting factors circulating at the time point of hemorrhage and required hemostasis (e.g.- at the initiation of surgical incision). We recommend administering the cryoprecipitate no greater than 2 hours prior to the initiation of surgery and to continue administration intra-operative. Ideally an extra dosage of cryoprecipitate should be on hand (but not reconstituted) in the case of unforeseen excessive hemorrhage.

Canine pRBCs FAQ

No, only fresh whole blood which has not been refrigerated has viable platelets. ABRI can supply this product to you. Please call (800) 243-5759 for more details.

We do not recommend storage of any blood product for future use once the bag has been spiked.

Yes.

Administration of 1 ml of pRBCS per kilogram of body weight is expected to raise the PCV 1% assuming no ongoing loss or destruction is occurring.

Each transfusion is individual to the recipient and it is difficult to make “blanket recommendations” regarding the product to order. We recommend keeping an Alvedia or Rapid Vet card blood typing kit (click for Hematology Supplies) in your office so you can DEA 1 type the recipient. Once you know the DEA 1 status of the patient you can order either DEA 1.1 positive or DEA 1.1 negative blood, whichever is appropriate for your particular patient. However, in an emergency situation where you are not able to type the recipient, the safest product to administer will be DEA 4 only pRBCs. DEA 1.1 negative is a secondary alternative.

We recommend at a minimum typing the recipient and then ordering pRBCs based on those results. Under ideal circumstances, major and minor cross match to either your donor or our donor are also recommended (Click for Hematology Supplies or Canine Tests)

Each transfusion is individual to the recipient and it is difficult to make “blanket recommendations” regarding the product to order. Current recommendations are to stock DEA 1.1 negative or DEA 4 only pRBCs.

Product shipped at 1-12⁰ C is considered acceptable. One or more bags of pRBCs has a HemoTemp™ monitor on the back of the bag – if any of the numbers are visible then the temperature of the blood has not exceed 12⁰C. If no numbers are visible, please contact us immediately. (800-243-5759)

HemoTemp™ monitors only show what the temperature of the blood unit is at the exact moment that you look at the indicator. It cannot tell you the history of the blood unit. If there is no color in any of the windows then the blood unit is above 12 degrees C or below 0 degrees C. The interpretation of the indicator is based on the color of the numbers. See the HemoTemp™ product bulletin for more information. The HemoTemp™ monitors are used for shipping and indicate temps up to 12 degrees C. Whole blood and pRBCs should not be stored long term at temps above 4 degrees C. Anything above this will significantly reduce viability and shelf life of the product.

pRBCs must remain at a stable temperature of 1-6⁰ C (34-43⁰F) for long term storage. Once the temperature of the pRBCs exceeds 6°C (43⁰F), it must be returned to the refrigerator and used within 24 hours. Blood banking standards state: if canine pRBCs are out of the refrigerator for more than 15 minutes, it is considered to be at room temperature and thus must be stored in the refrigerator and used within 24 hours.

No, even if the pRBCs were in the freezer for a short period the fragile nature of the pRBCs precludes its use if frozen for any time.

Dividing one bag of whole blood into smaller units requires aseptic technique and sterile specialized transfer bags and ports. This practice is not recommended outside of specialized veterinary blood banks. However if you have a sterile blood transfer bag (click for Transfer Bags & Sets) and you use aseptic technique you may continue to store the blood. However, the veterinary practice assumes all responsibility when conducting this procedure. ABRI sells whole blood and pRBCs in varying sizes to accommodate varying sized dogs.

No – expiration dates are assigned to protect the safety of the transfusion recipient. We cannot recommend the use of any product after its expiration date.

Canine Whole Blood FAQ

Only fresh whole blood which has not been refrigerated has viable platelets. ABRI can supply this product to you. Please call (800) 243-5759 for more details.

The rate of the administration must take into account the condition of the patient. Published recommendations for whole blood administration is 5-10 ml/kg/hr in normovolemic dogs and this rate can be increased in hypovolemic patients up to a maximum of 20 ml/kg/hr. A standard maximum transfusion volume of 20 ml/kg/day is often recommended.

Administration of 2 ml of whole blood per kilogram of body weight is expected to raise the PCV 1% assuming no ongoing loss or destruction is occurring.

Stored whole blood does not have viable platelets. Only fresh, unrefrigerated whole blood has viable platelets. ABRI maintains DEA 1.1 negative stored whole blood. If you desire either fresh whole blood or a specific DEA type we can fill these custom orders. Please call us for availability/ordering (800-243-5759). If you have a dog that needs both, RBCs and viable platelets component therapy consisting of pRBCS and leukoreduced frozen platelet concentrate are the best options.

ABRI maintains DEA 1.1 negative stored whole blood. If you desire either fresh whole blood or a specific DEA type we can fill these custom orders. Please call us for availability/ordering (800-243-5759).

Each transfusion is individual to the recipient and it is difficult to make “blanket recommendations” regarding the product to order. We recommend keeping an Alvedia or Rapid Vet card blood typing kit in your office so you can DEA 1 type the recipient. Once you know the DEA 1 status of the patient you can order either DEA 1 positive or DEA 1 negative blood, whichever is appropriate for your particular patient. However in an emergency situation where you are not able to type the recipient, the safest product to administer will be DEA 1 negative or DEA 4 only whole blood. ABRI maintains DEA 1.1 negative stored whole blood. If you desire either fresh whole blood or a specific DEA type we can fill these custom orders. Please call us for availability/ordering (800-243-5759).

We recommend at a minimum typing the recipient and then ordering whole blood based on those results. Under ideal circumstances, major and minor cross matches to either your donor or our donor are also recommended. (Click for Hematology Supplies)

Each transfusion is individual to the recipient and it is difficult to make “blanket recommendations” regarding the product to order. Current recommendations are to stock DEA 1 negative or DEA 4 only whole blood. ABRI maintains DEA 1.1 negative stored whole blood. If you desire either fresh whole blood or a specific DEA type we can fill these custom orders. Please call us for availability/ordering (800-243-5759).

Product shipped at 1-12⁰ C is considered acceptable. One or more bags of whole blood has a HemoTemp™ monitor on the back of the bag – if any of the numbers are visible then the temperature of the blood has not exceed 12⁰C. If no numbers are visible, please contact us immediately (800-243-5759).

HemoTemp™ monitors only show what the temperature of the blood unit is at the exact moment that you look at the indicator. It cannot tell you the history of the blood unit. If there is no color in any of the windows then the blood unit is above 12 degrees C or below 0 degrees C. The interpretation of the indicator is based on the color of the numbers. See the HemoTemp™ product bulletin for more information. The HemoTemp™ monitors are used for shipping and indicate temps up to 12 degrees C. Whole blood and pRBCs should not be stored long term at temps above 4 degrees C. Anything above this will significantly reduce viability and shelf life of the product.

Whole blood must remain at a stable temperature of 1-6⁰ C (34-43⁰F) for long term storage. Once the temperature of the whole blood exceeds 6°C (43⁰F), it must be returned to the refrigerator and used within 24 hours. Blood banking standards state: if canine blood is out of the refrigerator for more than 15 minutes it is considered to be at room temperature, and thus must be stored in the refrigerator and used within 24 hours.

We do not recommend storage of any blood product for future use once the bag has been spiked.

No, even if the whole blood was in the freezer for a short period the fragile nature of the RBCs precludes its use if frozen for any time.

Dividing one bag of whole blood into smaller units requires aseptic technique and sterile specialized transfer bags and ports. This practice is not recommended outside of specialized veterinary blood banks. However if you have a sterile blood transfer bag (click here for Transfer Bags & Sets) and you use aseptic technique you may continue to store the blood. However, the veterinary practice assumes all responsibility when conducting this procedure. ABRI sells whole blood and pRBCs in varying sizes to accommodate varying sized dogs.

Once a bag is spiked with a blood administration set and administered to a patient it should be utilized completely within 4 hours. We do not recommend storage of any blood product for future use once the bag has been spiked. Prior to spiking the bag it may be divided as described in the FAQ above (Please see previous FAQ).

No, expiration dates are assigned to protect the safety of the transfusion recipient. We cannot recommend the use of any product after its expiration date.

A 500 ml unit of fresh whole blood obtained from a canine donor is estimated to contain 70 billion platelets – the quantitative value will vary based on the donor’s platelet count at the time of donation. Blood which has been refrigerated does not have viable platelets. When solely a platelet transfusion is required, component therapy with either fresh or frozen platelets will allow transfusion of a leukoreduced product in a concentrated smaller volume.

Reference: Platelet Transfusions: Indications and New Products. E. Davidow. American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2010 Forum

Cross Matching FAQ

The major and minor cross match assist in providing serologically compatible blood products and mitigating the possibility of a transfusion reaction. The primary function of the cross match is detection of significant levels of pRBCs directed alloantibodies in the donor and recipient’s plasma/serum. (Click for Hematology Supplies)

A compatible cross match does not prevent sensitization or delayed transfusion reactions but will help in identifying potentially acute transfusion reactions.

Fibrin and lipidemia potentially confound testing so a fasting serum sample is recommended.

The major cross match, which is the most important, detects alloantibodies in the recipient’s serum which may lyse, agglutinate, or react with the donor’s erythrocytes.

The minor cross match detects alloantibodies in the donor’s serum which may lyse, agglutinate, or react with the recipient’s erythrocytes. The minor cross match is of lesser concern than the major cross match as the donor’s plasma/serum volume infused into the recipient is small, particularly in pRBC products.

A major cross match can easily be done with the aliquot of donor pRBCs attached to the bag and the recipient’s plasma. When utilizing pRBCs a minor cross match cannot be done as there is no plasma from the donor available unless you specifically purchase the donor’s accompanying plasma. The minor cross match is of lesser concern than the major cross match as the donor’s plasma/serum volume infused into the recipient is small, particularly in pRBC products.

Yes, we have developed a specialized test for the detection of anti-DEA antibodies, it is code AbSCRN. Please submit 3.0 ml of serum to our Stockbridge, Michigan laboratory (Click for Canine Tests).

Yes, to do this you will need to submit 1.0 ml serum and 1.0ml EDTA blood sample from your donor to us. Please call for specific instructions on this test prior to submitting blood. (517-851-8244)

Yes, to do this you will need to submit 1.0 ml serum and a 1.0 ml EDTA blood sample from both your donor and recipient to our Stockbridge, Michigan laboratory (Click for Canine Tests).

Yes, both DMS and Alvedia manufacture cage side test kits. DMS laboratories manufactures cross match kits for use in either cats or dogs. Presently the Alvedia cross match kit is only available for dogs. ABRI is a distributor of these kits.

ABRI has developed an instruction sheet (click for Blood Cross Match document).

There are several peer reviewed journal articles and textbooks with step by step instructions.

Per the manufacturer the cross match kits are accurate in both auto-agglutination and hemolysis.

Feldman, B. and C. Sink (2006). Practical Transfusion Medicine. Jackson, WY, Teton NewMedia.

Haldane, S., J. Roberts, et al. (2004). “Transfusion Medicine.” Compendium of Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian: 502-517.

Lanevschi, A. and J. Wardrop (2001). “Principles of Transfusion Medicine in Small Animals.” Canadian Veterinary Journal 42: 447-454.

Vaden, S., J. Knoll, et al. (2009). Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult- Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures Canine and Feline, Wiley-Blackwell.

Vap, L. (2010). An Update on Blood Typing, Crossmatching, and Doing No Harm in Transfusing Dogs and Cats. DVM 360.

Vigano, F., C. Fragio, et al. (2008). Select Topics in Canine and Feline Emergency Medicine, Royal Canin. 1: 110-116.

Feline Blood Types FAQ

Cats have three blood types – A, B and AB. Cats are either A or B or AB. Similar to dogs, the blood type designation is based on the erythrocyte antigen present, also known as FEA (Feline Erythrocyte Antigen).

The half-life of appropriately matched red blood cells with no accompanying transfusion or hemolytic processes is 29-39 days. It has been postulated the life span of a transfused feline RBC may be as long as the life span of an autologous RBC- 70 days.

Most cats have alloantibodies to the blood type they do not have. For example, an FEA blood-type A cat will have naturally occurring anti-B antibodies. An FEA blood-type B cat will have naturally occurring anti-A antibodies.  FEA blood-type AB cat has no naturally occurring antibodies.

No, AB cats are not universal donors for whole blood.

Cats do not need to have been sensitized by a previous transfusion in order to have antibodies against the blood type they do not have. There is a great risk for transfusion reaction if they receive a blood type component different than their own. All cats, both donor and recipient, should be typed or cross matched before any transfusion even if it is the first transfusion for the recipient. (Click for Hematology Supplies).

When FEA type B blood is transfused to a FEA type A cat, the life span of the transfused red blood cells is typically only 2 days.

When FEA type A blood is transfused to a FEA type B cat, in addition to a potentially severe and fatal transfusion reaction, the life span of the transfused red blood cells is typically only a few hours.

If you wish to conduct the typing in your hospital, we recommend the Alvedia or Rapid Vet blood typing system (Click for Hematology Supplies). It will determine whether a cat is type A, type B or type AB. If you prefer you may send a blood sample (1 ml EDTA) to our laboratory and we will conduct the blood typing for you (Click for Feline Tests).

Heparinized blood cannot be used with the Alvedia typing kits. You may use EDTA or citrate blood.

Feline pRBCs FAQ

No, only fresh whole blood which has not been refrigerated has viable platelets. ABRI can supply this product to you. Please call (800) 243-5759 for more details.

We do not recommend storage of any blood product for future use once the bag has been spiked.

Administration of 1 ml of pRBCS per kilogram of body weight is expected to raise the PCV 1% assuming no ongoing loss or destruction is occurring.

Yes.

Because of the presence of naturally occurring alloantibodies, all cats should be typed and/or cross matched before any transfusion. We recommend keeping a commercial blood typing kit such as Alvedia or Rapid H test kit (click for Hematology Supplies) in your hospital so the recipient can be typed and the pRBCs ordered based on those results. Under ideal circumstances, a major cross match to either your or our donor are also recommended (click for Hematology Supplies).

Product shipped at 1-12⁰ C is considered acceptable. One or more of the bags of pRBCs will have a HemoTemp™ monitor on the back of the bag – if any of the numbers are visible then the temperature of the pRBCs has not exceeded 12⁰C. If no numbers are visible, please contact us immediately (800-243-5759).

HemoTemp™ monitors only show what the temperature of the blood unit is at the exact moment that you look at the indicator. It cannot tell you the history of the blood unit. If there is no color in any of the windows then the blood unit is above 12 degrees C or below 0 degrees C. The interpretation of the indicator is based on the color of the numbers. See the HemoTemp™ product bulletin for more information. The HemoTemp™ monitors are used for shipping and indicate temps up to 12 degrees C. Whole blood and pRBCs should not be stored long term at temps above 4 degrees C. Anything above this will significantly reduce viability and shelf life of the product.

Once the temperature of the pRBCs exceeds 6°C (43⁰F), it must be returned to the refrigerator and used within 24 hours. Blood banking standards state if feline pRBCs are out of the refrigerator for more than 5 minutes, it is considered to be at room temperature and thus must be stored in the refrigerator and used within 24 hours.

No, even if the pRBCs were in the freezer for a short period the fragile nature of the RBC precludes its use if frozen for any time.

No, expiration dates are assigned to protect the safety of the transfusion recipient. We cannot recommend the use of any product after its expiration date.

Feline Whole Blood FAQ

Stored whole blood does not have viable platelets. Only fresh, unrefrigerated whole blood has viable platelets. ABRI does not keep feline whole blood in stock but we can fill these custom orders. Please call us for availability/ordering (800-243-5759).

Published recommendations for whole blood administration is 10 ml/kg/hr in normovolemic cats or 2 to 4 ml/kg/hr in a cat with heart disease.

Due to the potentially fatal transfusion reactions which can occur in cats even on their first transfusion it is never safe to administer a transfusion without minimally typing both the donor and recipient. We recommend keeping blood tying kits, either Alvedia or Rapid Vet (click for Hematology Supplies), in your office. If you order the blood product from us, we will send you type specific blood.

We recommend at a minimum typing the recipient and then ordering whole blood based on those results. Under ideal circumstances, major and minor cross match to either your donor or our donor are also recommended.

Whole blood must remain at a stable temperature of 1-6⁰ C (34-43⁰F) for long term storage. Once the temperature of the whole blood exceeds 6°C (43⁰F), it must be returned to the refrigerator and used within 24 hours. Blood banking standards are: if cat blood is out of the refrigerator for more than 5 minutes, it is considered to be at room temperature and thus must be stored in the refrigerator and used within 24 hours.

We do not recommend storage of any blood product for future use once the bag has been spiked.

No, even if the whole blood was in the freezer for a short period the fragile nature of the RBCs precludes its use if frozen for any time.

No, expiration dates are assigned to protect the safety of the transfusion recipient. We cannot recommend the use of any product after its expiration date.

Only fresh whole blood which has not been refrigerated has viable platelets. ABRI can supply this product to you. Please call (800) 243-5759 for more details.

It is never advisable to transfuse a cat when the blood type of the donor and recipient are not similar. Cross matching is not a reliable test for type compatibility.

Options available are:

  • ABRI can overnight ship typing kits to your clinic.
  • Often local ER or referral centers will loan or sell typing kits.

It is never advisable to transfuse a cat when the blood type of the donor and recipient are not similar. Cross matching is not a reliable test for type compatibility.

Options available are:

  • ABRI can overnight ship typing kits to your clinic and you can order the blood based on those results.
  • Often local ER or referral centers will loan or sell typing kits and you can order the blood based on those results.
  • Overnight the recipient’s blood to our Michigan location and we can type and send you correctly typed blood. Turn around time for these emergency orders can be within one day if prior arrangements are made. Please call our Michigan location directly (517-851-8244) to place this order.
  • Order a blood typing kit and the most common blood type, type A, noting if the recipient is type B or AB, the blood you have received will not be suitable. Blood products are non-returnable and non-refundable.

The best option is to use the prefilled anticoagulant form either a 250 ml or 450 ml canine blood collection bag. Regardless of the anti-coagulant (CPD or CDPA-1), the ratio of anti-coagulant to whole blood is still 1 : 7 (one milliliter of anti-coagulant for each 7 ml of whole blood).

Variability exists in the literature depending on the author. Standard collection volumes are 10-12 ml/kg of LEAN body weight. Because of the small circulatory volume of cats, feline donors should receive replacement IV fluids when possible.

Administration of 2 ml of whole blood per kilogram of body weight is expected to raise the PCV 1% assuming no ongoing loss or destruction is occurring.

Product shipped at 1-12⁰ C is considered acceptable. One or more bags of whole blood has a HemoTemp™ monitor on the back of the bag – if any of the numbers are visible then the temperature of the blood has not exceed 12⁰C. If no numbers are visible, please contact us immediately (800-243-5759).

HemoTemp™ monitors only show what the temperature of the blood unit is at the exact moment that you look at the indicator. It cannot tell you the history of the blood unit. If there is no color in any of the windows then the blood unit is above 12 degrees C or below 0 degrees C. The interpretation of the indicator is based on the color of the numbers. See the HemoTemp™ product bulletin for more information. The HemoTemp™ monitors are used for shipping and indicate temps up to 12 degrees C. Whole blood and pRBCs should not be stored long term at temps above 4 degrees C. Anything above this will significantly reduce viability and shelf life of the product.

General FAQs

All blood products must meet in-house infectious disease standards which includes donors free of Dirofilaria, Lyme, Babesia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Hepatozoon, Leishmania, Neorickettsia, Bartonella and hemotropic Mycoplasmas (Mycoplasma haemocanis and Candidatus mycoplasma haematoparvum).

All donor cats are free of the following infectious diseases: Feline Immunodeficiency virus, Feline Leukemia virus, Mycoplasma haemofelis, Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum, Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis, Bartonella spp., Cytauxzoon felis, and Anaplasma spp.

The choice of which product is appropriate for each individual patient can only be made on a case by case basis under the careful judgment of the clinician. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-243-5759 for technical support. Most transfusions are component therapy as opposed to whole blood products. ABRI does not recommend the use of whole blood except in specific situations such as hemorrhage. A summary of the component therapy products ABRI can supply for specific conditions click here:

Canine Component Therapy

Feline Component Therapy

The days below are number of days of viability after the blood is collected from the donor – these days are specific to ABRI products.

Feline Stored Whole Blood on CPDA-1 30 Days
Canine Stored Whole Blood on CPDA-1 35 Days
Feline pRBCS 35 Days
Canine pRBCS 42 Days

In 2005 the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) published a consensus statement. The reference is: Canine and Feline Blood Donor Screening for Infectious Disease. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Volume 19, pages 135-142.

Leukoreduced Canine Frozen Platelet Concentrate FAQ

Each 100 ml unit of frozen platelet concentrate contains a minimum of 50 billion platelets. This equates to 500 million platelets per milliliter or 500,000 platelets per microliter.

The product we sell is produced in a manner which minimizes the introduction of pRBC antigens. Thus our product is not blood type specific. However as with any transfusion product, idiosyncratic transfusion reactions may occur.

No, they must be maintained frozen during the transport. Call us immediately if this occurs (800-243-5759).

No, this product must be utilized within four hours of thawing. It cannot be refrozen or refrigerated.

Please call us immediately if this occurs (800-243-5759).

No, expiration dates of frozen canine platelet concentrate are assigned to protect the safety of the transfusion recipient. We cannot recommend the use of frozen canine platelet concentrate after its six month expiration date.

No, once thawed platelets must be used within four hours. They cannot be refrigerated or refrozen.

Product Administration FAQ

Only 0.9% NaCl with no additives may be used to facilitate infusion of blood products, no other type of IV fluids may be used. Standard transfusion guidelines are no medications should be added to any blood product unless there is approval by the FDA or there is adequate documentation the medicine is safe for use with blood products.

It is not recommended to use an IV fluid pump, unless the pump and administration set are SPECIFICALLY designed and marketed for use with blood or any other blood component (pRBCs, plasma, albumin, platelets). Alternative options are a syringe pump or gravity flow methods.

The Hemo Nate filter has been studied extensively by the FDA for use in neonates. It is preferred over the fiber membranes and has been shown to have less impact on the red cells. It was designed for 50 ml of whole blood and 20 ml of red cells. The filter size is 18 microns pore width. Overloading the filter or not having a clean product can affect the performance of the filter and potentially damage cells. The filter is not designed for nor has it been tested for safety using syringe pumps. If using a syringe pump, it should be used at the lowest setting possible. The cells have to flow freely through the filter, not be forced under pressure through the filter.

Yes, however we do not recommend the co-administration of different products simultaneously. You can flush the catheter with 0.9% NaCl in between the products – do not use LRS or any other calcium containing IV fluid.

Administration Set Type Priming Volume Tubing Length Drip Rate for Gravity Flow Filter Pore Size
Canine Straight Administration Set 19 milliliters 58 inches 20 drops/ml 170 microns
Feline Administration Set 7 milliliters 31 inches 20 drops/ml 170 microns

Yes, ABRI is the sole distributor for a feline specific gravity flow blood administration set for cats. The set has a small priming volume of 7 ml and the tubing length is only 31 inches.

The straight set has only one spike whereas the Y set has two spikes. With the Y set you can use the same administration line to consecutively administer two IV products through separate spikes (reduces the possibility of contamination if one administration set is to be used for two products).

The rate of the administration must take into account the condition of the patient. Published recommendations for whole blood administration is 5-10 ml/kg/hr in normovolemic dogs and this rate can be increased in hypovolemic patients up to a maximum of 20 ml/kg/hr. A standard maximum transfusion volume of 20 ml/kg/day is often recommended.

Administration of 1 ml of pRBCS per kilogram of body weight is expected to raise the PCV 1% assuming no ongoing loss or destruction is occurring.

Administration of 1 ml of pRBCS per kilogram of body weight is expected to raise the PCV 1% assuming no ongoing loss or destruction is occurring.

Administration of 2 ml of whole blood per kilogram of body weight is expected to raise the PCV 1% assuming no ongoing loss or destruction is occurring.

Administration of 2 ml of whole blood per kilogram of body weight is expected to raise the PCV 1% assuming no ongoing loss or destruction is occurring.

Whole Blood Collection FAQ

The bag to utilize is dependent upon the final product you wish to obtain. As each case is unique, please call us at (800) 243-5759 for personalized recommendations.

The general rule of transfusion medicine is a blood volume +/- 10% the anticipated volume of the pre-filled anticoagulant blood bag.

The manufacturer’s recommendation is a 1:7 ratio (for every one milliliter of anticoagulant collect 7 milliliters of blood)

ACD-A allows for a red cell shelf life of 28 days, while CPDA-1 allows for a shelf life of 35 days due to the addition of adenine. Unfortunately CPDA-1 is no longer available for sale as a stand alone product (however, it is the standard anticoagulant of pre-filled whole blood collection bags). The ratio of anticoagulant to blood is the same (1:7) for both anticoagulants.

The ACD-A product is manufactured and packaged for human use – thus the product is labeled as “single use only”. The use of this product in veterinary medicine is considered “off label”. If aseptic technique utilizing a spike port (Hemo-Tap® or equivalent) is utilized the product can be used as a multi dose container as long as sterility is maintained. As use of the solution beyond the FDA labeled single use only is at the discretion of the user, no claims or warranties are made by ABRI as to the period of sterility or efficacy once the bag is entered. The contents are stable at room temperature.

Utilizing a 1:7 ratio of anticoagulant to whole blood with a +/-10% whole blood overage/underage would yield a minimum of 41 ml of whole blood must be collected (total volume in syringe will thus be 47.3 ml). Conversely, you may collect up to 49 ml of whole blood (total volume in syringe will be 55.3 ml) when a starting anticoagulant volume of 6.3 ml is used.

The best approach, regardless of the cat, is to discard the used syringe set in its entirety and start with a new syringe set and anticoagulant. If the blood is being collected for storage (as opposed to immediate administration), we do not recommend changing the butterfly needle due to possible contamination and disruption of the closed status of the collection set. Whether or not the same cat can be utilized for another attempt depends upon the judgment of the attending veterinarian. We do not recommend utilization of the same cat once a volume greater than 10 ml has been withdrawn.

One milliliter of blood weighs 1.06 grams.

One milliliter of AS solution weighs 1.00 grams.

20 drops per milliliter for all three.

The following chart gives the minimum, ideal and maximum weight of the blood only (not the bag or prefilled anticoagulant) for the 250 ml and 450 ml canine blood collection bags. The ideal is the goal – however the maximum weight is included to provide information as the +10% blood volume allowable with the 1:7 anticoagulant ratio. Similarly, the minimum blood weight is also included for the -10% blood volume to 1:7 anticoagulant ratio. Because the weight of the bag and anticoagulant have slight variability, it is prudent to always weigh the prefilled anticoagulant bag PRIOR to infusing any blood into the bag.

We do not recommend collecting blood without the use of gram scale as subjective assessments of blood volume in the bag are usually inaccurate.

AS-3 is an additive containing dextrose, adenine, monobasic sodium phosphate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, and citric acid. Canine red cell shelf life can be extended to 42 days at 1-6⁰C when AS-3 is utilized. Feline red cell shelf life can be extended to 35 days at 1-6⁰C when AS-3 is utilized. These dates are not based on species specific scientific studies but rather anecdotal veterinary publications and extrapolation from human literature. Early research to establish red cell viability used a canine model, so extrapolations from FDA standards are considered valid and generally accepted for veterinary blood banking. Adjustments have been made for felines based on reduced red cell life in circulation. Additional species red cell viability should also consider variances in normal cell life when determining expiration date.

The additive is not for whole blood, it is for use in pRBCs only. The additive must be added to the pRBC unit within 72 hours of collection. After separating a unit of whole blood into components, AS-3 can be added to the pRBC unit. Commonly used ratios of AS-3 solution are based on volume of whole blood drawn, not on packed cell volume. Animal Blood Resources uses a ratio of 1 : 4.5 for red cell preservation, plus or minus 10%. This is the ratio mandated by the FDA for human blood.

No claims or warranties are made by ABRI as to the commonly applied ratios or red cell viability periods. Determination of the appropriate amount of AS-3 to add to red cells and determination of red cell viability is solely at the discretion of the user.

Yes, if the whole blood is shipped to our Michigan location we can spin the blood down and separate the whole blood into components. The largest size bag our centrifuge holds is one liter. Please contact us for processing, shipping and pricing information prior to blood collection.

  1. The 250 ml bag is pre-filled with 35 ml of CPDA-1
  2. The 450 ml single collection bag is pre-filled with 63 ml of CPDA-1
  3. The 450 ml triple collection bag is pre-filled with 63 ml of CPD
  1. CPD is citrate-phosphate-dextrose and red cells have a shelf life of 21 days
  2. CPDA-1 is citrate-phosphate-dextrose-adenine and red cells have a shelf life of 35 days

No, once expired the bags should not be utilized as sterility of contents cannot be assured past the manufacturers original expiration date.

No, once expired the bags should not be utilized as sterility of contents or efficacy of the anti-coagulant cannot be assured past the manufacturers original expiration date.

  1. 250 ml donor tubing is 3 feet
  2. 450 ml donor tubing is 5 feet

If you will be administering whole blood then the best choice is either a 250 ml or 450 ml single collection bag. Use the 250 ml size if the donor is less than 50 pounds.

Unless you have a refrigerated centrifuge capable of holding a filled 450 ml collection bag, it will be very difficult to separate canine whole blood into pRBCS and plasma. Unlike cats, canine red cells do not spontaneously rouleaux or separate. If you do have a centrifuge, the choice of collection bag depends on whether you want the Optisol red cell extender pre-filled in the pRBC bag. If you have specific questions, please call us and we can recommend a specific bag based on the products you want to produce.

Do not centrifuge feline bags at speeds greater than 3000 RPM or for longer than 5 minutes at a time. If you do not have a centrifuge you may use a sedimentation technique.