• adult;
  • colloid;
  • foal;
  • survival


Objective – To report on the incidence of transfusion reactions to commercial equine plasma in a hospital-based population of horses, to characterize these reactions and report on outcome.

Design – Retrospective study.

Setting – University teaching hospital.

Animals – Client-owned horses referred to the University of Wisconsin.

Interventions – Intravenous administration of 2 commercial equine plasma products when clinically indicated.

Measurements and Main Results – Medical records of 107 horses that received plasma transfusions between 2003 and 2008 were evaluated. Transfusion reactions were recorded in 6 of 107 transfusions. All individuals were administered plasma from 1 commercial source. Foals <30 days of age received a hypergammaglobulinemic product and all adults received a lower IgG concentration product. No reactions were recorded in adults. In foals (<30 d) reactions were recorded in 6 of 69 cases (8.7%), all of which occurred in neonates <7 days of age (6/62; [9.7%]). The most frequent reactions were fever (4/6), tachycardia (2/6), tachypnea (2/6), and colic (2/6). All affected foals survived the reaction. There were no statistically significant differences (P<0.05) in any of the variables examined between those foals that did and those that did not experience transfusion reactions.

Conclusion – The incidence of transfusion reactions was 8.7% in foals and 0% in adult horses in our referral population. Five of 6 foals responded to medical therapy and eventually received the clinically indicated transfusion. No transfusion related mortality occurred.