THE use of blood transfusions in veterinary practice has increased dramatically in recent years. Practitioners therefore need to be able to collect and administer blood safely when a transfusion is indicated. One of the major obstacles to blood transfusion in veterinary practice is the absence of appropriate donor animals. Identification of possible donors in advance of blood requirements allows life-saving transfusions to be administered quickly and safely. Here, in the first of a two-part article, the selection of appropriate canine and feline donors and the safe collection of blood are discussed. Indications for blood transfusions, the administration of whole blood and blood products, and associated transfusion reactions that can occur in dogs and cats will be covered in the next issue.
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