Heart and Blood: Blood Type
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Different Dog Blood Types:
The Dog blood type or blood group is described on the basis of seven (7) different types of blood products, called “Dog Erythrocytes Antigen”, abbreviated DEA. The following is an overview of the different dog blood types or groups based upon the independent antigen system defined by researchers.
This is the most important blood type in dogs as far as transfusions are concerned; this system is formulated, based upon independent alleles (genes) 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and Null Allele. Single phenotypes of all four may be demonstrated in an individual, which means that a dog with group DEA 1, should have only a single phenotype. This group is the most important of all blood types in dogs. Type 1.1 and 1.2, were classified as A1 and A2 types earlier, but newer classification are based upon the genetic significance of these types.
A dog with blood type DEA 1 may experience more complications and risks of mismatching when receiving a blood transfusions. Any dog should essentially be tested, whether it’s positive or negative for DEA 1.1. A dog with negative DEA 1.1 is considered to be a universal donor, whereas dogs that are positive for DEA 1.1, may not be safe to donate blood to other dogs, or to receive blood from other dogs.
In some cases, if a DEA 1.1 negative dog is transfused with blood of dog with DEA 1.1 positive, the dog may die or experience severe complications from the transfusions such as acute hemolysis.
- DEA 3.0
Dogs may have a DEA 3 system of blood type, if their blood has two antigens, DEA 3.0 and DEA Null. This is a rare type of blood and occurs in only in 5 – 6% of dogs. The most common breed with a DEA 3.0 positive type blood are grey hounds, in which 23% of all population is considered positive. If the dog is incompatible for this blood type and is transfused, erythrocytes or blood cells are usually replaced in 3 – 5 days, automatically.
The Blood group defined by the DEA 4.0 system consists of two antigens; 4.0 and null type. This blood group has been determined to be positive in almost 80 – 85% of the dog population in the USA, Canada and Brazil. Dog blood type 4.0 is not considered important clinically if red blood cell survival is required. Dogs that test positive for blood type 4.0 and negative for all other groups, can be declared to be a “Universal Donor”.
- DEA 5.0
This dog blood type also consists of two different antigens, Antigen 5.0 and the null type. This group has been reported as an independently occurring blood group or blood type that is seen in only 15% of the dog population tested so far.
This blood group is only evidenced serologically, which means that this group has no or the least clinical importance. If administered incompatibly, the naturally occurring antibody of this group usually shortens the survival rate of the transfused red blood cells.
- DEA 7.0
Two genetic types of this canine blood chemistry group have been reported, 7.0 and the null type. DEA 7.0 is not a truly occurring red blood cell antigen, but it is produced in other tissues, and then absorbed onto the RBC (red blood cells). Sometimes this type is compared with that of the type “A” blood group in humans. 30 – 40% of the dog population in the USA and Canada has been reported positive for this independently occurring dog blood type.
In all thirteen occurring dog blood types, it should be noted that clinically only five groups are important, which are described above. Therefore the anti-serum of only these of these groups is available commercially. There has been little research done on the biochemical functioning of blood, which is why the available information about different dog blood types and canine blood chemistry is very limited.
Blood typing and the risks associated with incompatibility are relatively low in dogs; due to the reduced numbers of natural antibodies. However, dog owners must be aware of a dog's blood type, as it may be required in emergencies. In cases, where dogs have a negative DEA 1.1 blood type, this is considered safe for any type of blood transfusion and for making a dog blood donation. Sometimes the incompatibility of blood type DEA 1.1 can be fatal or at least causes severe hemolysis of transfused blood cells.