Dog’s blood type is different from human. For canines, the most important is the DEA group, which stands for dog erythrocyte antigen.
Dogs are most often typed just for DEA 1.1 positive or negative.
DEA 1.1 positive – universal recipients
DEA 1.1 negative – universal donors
Other DEA blood types include 1.2, 1.3, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7, all of which can be positive or negative.
A DEA 1.1-positive dog may receive either positive or negative blood.
However, blood from DEA 1.1 positive dogs should never be transfused into DEA 1.1 negative dogs.
If it is the dog’s first transfusion the red cells transfused will have a shortened life due to the formation of alloantibodies to the cells themselves and the animal will forever be sensitized to DEA 1.1 positive blood. If it is a second such transfusion, life-threatening conditions will follow within hours. In addition, these alloantibodies will be present in a female dog’s milk (colostrum) and adversely affect the health of DEA 1.1 negative puppies.
After their first blood transfusion, dogs should be blood typed and cross-matched because they can become sensitive to the type of blood they receive.