If your cat is scheduled to undergo a small animal surgery, your veterinarian might speak to you about providing a blood supply for your cat. Cats, like humans, are susceptible to losing some of their blood volume while they're being operated on, which can be dangerous if the blood loss is extreme enough. Read on to learn more about how the blood can help, how it's sourced, and how you may be able to help.
While veterinarian surgeons are trained to perform operations as safely and quickly as possible, blood loss is always a potential risk during surgery. When flesh or tissue is cut, the veins and arteries that supply blood to that tissue may begin to bleed. While minor procedures like neutering rarely cause any serious blood loss, more invasive operations increase the risk.
Having a readily available supply of blood can potentially protect your cat's life and keep them safe both during and following their surgical procedure. This blood may be transfused during the operation or following it, depending on your veterinarian's assessment of your cat's health. Providing a transfusion will add blood to your cat's circulatory system, making up for any that was lost during the procedure.
Where Your Cat's Blood Comes From
Your veterinarian can tell you more about how they specifically source the blood they use for cats. However, most veterinarians either rely upon blood banks or have volunteers who bring in their
How You Can Help
If you have other cats in your home, especially if they came from the same litter as the cat that's about to undergo an operation, let your vet know. If your two cats have the same blood type and the donor doesn't have any diseases, your healthy cat may be eligible to give blood. This may reduce your veterinary bill, or just supply an extra unit of blood in addition to what's taken from the blood bank. If the cat that's being operated on pulls through without needing to use the blood, you can either have the veterinarian transfuse it back into your donor cat or donate it to the blood bank for another sick cat to use.
Providing a unit or two of blood for your cat can help their surgical procedure and recovery to go smoothly. With a little luck, they won't even need the boost that donated blood can give, but having it available just in case will let you rest easy.