Pet Symptom Checker

Blood type mismatch

Medical name: Blood transfusion reaction

Emergency Warnings



  • Blue mucous or skin
  • Collapse
  • Feverish
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Cold body
  • Restlessness
  • Shock
  • Shaking body
  • Weakness
  • Unsteady walking


A blood transfusion reaction occurs when your pet has been exposed to a mismatched blood type. This condition can often be characterized weakness, or even collapse. Your pet may also have a racing heartbeat. To take your pet's pulse, with the animal sitting or lying in a relaxed position, locate the heart (on the left side of the chest near the elbow) with the palm of one hand (the other hand can restrain or reassure your pet). Count beats for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get beats per minute. You can also take your pet's pulse in the groin area, where you’re feeling for the femoral artery where the hind leg meets the body. For a small dog (up to 20 pounds) at rest, a normal heart rate is 70-180 beats per minute. Medium- and large-size dogs’ hearts (at rest) beat at an almost-humanlike 60-140 beats per minute. Young puppies (up to 6 weeks) race along at as much as 220 beats. Cats, too, normally have fast hearts: somewhere between 120-240 in adult cats and up to 300 beats per minute in young (up to 6 weeks) kittens. Other symptoms of a blood transfusion reaction may include a cold body, or, alternatively, fever. Your pet may also have blue skin or mucous membranes. The easiest-to-find mucous membranes are the gums above the teeth or the lips. A nice, healthy pink is normal. If your pet normally has dark gums and lips, you need to find another lightly pigmented place, like the vulva in female animals or the prepuce (skin fold over the end of the penis) on male animals. Also, the inner eyelid (gently pull down on skin just below the eye) is another mucous membrane. If you suspect that your pet is suffering from an adverse blood transfusion reaction, you should consider this an emergency and get your pet back to a veterinary hospital or emergency animal care facility immediately.

Zootoo does not provide veterinary medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition.
If you think your pet may be experiencing a medical emergency, call your veterinarian or an emergency animal care facility immediately.

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