Previously presented in part at the Forum of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Seattle, WA, June 2007.
Lack of Evidence of Pregnancy-Induced Alloantibodies in Dogs
Article first published online: 25 MAR 2009
Copyright © 2009 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 23, Issue 3, pages 462–465, May/June 2009
How to Cite
Blais, M.-C., Rozanski, E. A., Hale, A. S., Shaw, S. P. and Cotter, S. M. (2009), Lack of Evidence of Pregnancy-Induced Alloantibodies in Dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 23: 462–465. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0286.x
- Issue published online: 19 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 25 MAR 2009
- Submitted February 6, 2008; Revised April 25, 2008; Accepted January 7, 2009.
- Alloantibody screening;
- Blood compatibility;
- Blood donor program;
- Dog erythrocyte antigen;
Background: It is controversial whether or not pregnant bitches become sensitized to red blood cell (RBC) antigens.
Hypothesis: Bitches do not develop alloantibodies to RBC antigens during gestation and can be used safely as blood donors.
Animals: The study group included 35 healthy female dogs with a prior history of 1 (n = 12), 2 (n = 14), or ≥ 3 (n = 9) pregnancies. The control group consisted of 15 healthy female dogs without any history of pregnancy.
Methods: All dogs were blood typed for dog erythrocyte antigens (DEA) 1.1, 1.2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid blood samples and polyclonal antisera. Antibody screening was performed with serum and canine RBC panels of known blood type. An autocontrol and direct antiglobulin test were performed to rule out the presence of autoantibodies.
Results: The only alloantibodies identified were those against DEA 7 and the prevalence of anti-DEA 7 alloantibodies was similar in dogs with known history of pregnancy (11.4%) and in the control group (13.3%).
Conclusions and Clinical Importance: These results confirm previous studies and clinical transfusion medicine experience. Naturally occurring anti-DEA 7 alloantibodies have been reported but their clinical relevance has not been shown. Pregnancy does not appear to sensitize dogs to RBC antigens. Consequently, dogs with prior history of pregnancy can be used safely as blood donors. Conversely, no additional pretransfusion compatibility studies would be required should these dogs themselves need to be transfused.