82 (6) pp 337-344

Neonatal isoerythrolysis in cats
F. Snoeck, T. Rijsselaere, A. Van Soom

Neonatal isoerythrolysis in kittens can only occur when the queen has blood type B and the tomcat blood type A or AB. During the first 24 hours after birth, kittens ingest colostral antibodies, which reach the systemic circulation through the bowel. Kittens with blood type A absorb antibodies, which destroy their erythrocytes. Kittens that develop symptoms, such as anemia, hemoglobininuria or icterus, should be given a blood transfusion. However, the survival rate is very low, and prevention is of utmost importance. This can be done by determining the blood type of queens and tomcats intended for breeding with breeds at risk. Ideally, a queen with blood type B and a tomcat with blood type A or AB should not be mated. However, if this combination occurs, the kittens should be removed from the mother during the first 24 hours after birth. Subsequently, they have to be fed with artificial milk and be given oral or subcutaneous plasma from a well-immunized cat with blood type A. 

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