Canine Packed Red Blood Cells: Uses and Benefits

As any veterinarian will know, canine packed red blood cells are an incredibly effective tool to have in your treatment arsenal. When a dog is in need of a blood transfusion, packed red blood cells (PRBCs) are often the go-to solution. Produced by removing much of the plasma from whole blood, PRBCs are a critical part of modern veterinary medicine, offering a range of benefits to veterinary professionals and their animal patients.

What are Canine Packed Red Blood Cells?

Canine packed red blood cells (PRBCs) are a blood product derived from whole blood. Collected from healthy, compatible dogs, PRBCs are separated from plasma and other blood components via centrifuging before being stored for future use.

Advantages of PRBCs for Canines

Easy storage and administration:

Unlike whole blood, PRBCs have a longer shelf life and can be stored for up to 6 weeks if kept properly. This makes it much easier for veterinary clinics to keep a stock of this vital blood product on hand. Administration of PRBCs also takes less time and requires fewer procedures.

Lower risk of transfusion reactions:

PRBCs have a lower volume than whole blood, which reduces the risk of allergic or immune-mediated transfusion reactions in dogs. This makes it a safer and less risky option for canine patients.

More efficient oxygen-carrying capacity:

PRBCs pack a more potent punch of oxygen-carrying capacity than whole blood. Dogs with severe anaemia may require multiple units of PRBCs to compensate for their low red blood cell count. PRBCs can efficiently deliver the red blood cells necessary to help the animal recover more quickly.

Uses of Canine Packed Red Blood Cells

The primary use of Canine Packed Red Blood Cells is to treat anaemia in dogs. Occurring when a dog has a deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body, anaemia can be caused by a variety of factors. These include blood loss due to trauma, surgery, or disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer and chemotherapy, parasitic infections, and autoimmune disorders as well as genetic disorders such as haemophilia.

PRBCs are an excellent choice for treating anaemia, as they contain a high concentration of red blood cells and carry a low risk of adverse reaction as they are compatible with most dogs. Packed red blood cells are also often used to support dogs undergoing surgery—especially if they are at risk of blood loss during the procedure.

Benefits of Canine Packed Red Blood Cells

For veterinary professionals, packed red blood cells provide a reliable and convenient blood product that can be used to treat a variety of conditions. When collected and processed under strict quality control standards, such as those adopted by Plasvacc (and registered by the AVPMA), packed red blood cells are safe and effective for use in animal patients.

They are also stored in a way that makes them readily available when needed, which can be particularly important in emergency situations.

In such an emergency setting, PRBC’s can be lifesaving in cases of severe anaemia or blood loss. A blood transfusion can quickly restore the dog’s red blood cell count, improving oxygenation and circulation and helping stabilize the patient.

In addition to their life-saving potential, packed red blood cells can also help improve the quality of life for dogs with chronic anaemia. Dogs with chronic anaemia may experience fatigue, weakness, and reduced endurance, which can limit their ability to participate in physical activities and enjoy their daily lives. A blood transfusion can help restore their energy and vitality, allowing them to live more active and fulfilling lives.

Another benefit of PRBCs is their compatibility with most dogs. Because PRBCs are collected from healthy, compatible donors, they are less likely to cause an adverse reaction or rejection by the recipient dog’s immune system. This makes them a safer and more effective choice for blood transfusions than whole blood or other blood products.

Finally, the use of packed red blood cells can help reduce the need for blood products from other sources, such as human blood banks. While human blood products can be used in certain situations, they are generally less effective and more likely to cause adverse reactions in dogs. By relying on PRBCs instead, veterinarians can provide a more tailored and effective treatment for their animal patients.

Why Plasvacc PRBCs?

Canine packed red blood cells can be a lifesaver for dogs suffering from anaemia and severe trauma. This concentrated blood product offers a safe, efficient, and accessible treatment option that has few side effects. Safety and efficacy are further increased through Plasvacc’s firm commitment to donor health and well-being and a commitment to unmatched quality control which is backed up by an animal ethics approval by the AVPMA, an AVPMA Product Registration and an APVMA GMP manufacturing license for the production of all veterinary blood plasma products.

Additionally, all shipments are tracked and monitored by our in-house customer service team in order to ensure they are en route and on time, and if not, actions are taken to intervene and keep the product at the appropriate temperature to avoid spoilage.

When it comes to PRBCs and other veterinary products, Plasvacc is proud to offer veterinarians both an effective treatment tool as well as peace of mind.