Case Report

Xenotransfusion with packed bovine red blood cells to a wildebeest calf (Connochaetes taurinus)

Roxanne K. Buck, George F. Stegmann, Luke A. Poore, Tahiyya Shaik, Travis Gray, Gareth E. Zeiler
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 89 | a1669 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v89i0.1669 | © 2018 Roxanne K. Buck, George F. Stegmann, Luke A. Poore, Tahiyya Shaik, Travis Gray, Gareth E. Zeiler | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 January 2018 | Published: 17 October 2018

About the author(s)

Roxanne K. Buck, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
George F. Stegmann, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Luke A. Poore, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Tahiyya Shaik, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Travis Gray, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Gareth E. Zeiler, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

A 4-month-old female blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) was presented for bilateral pelvic limb fracture repair. Clinical examination under anaesthesia revealed a water-hammer pulse and a haematocrit of 0.13. A xenotransfusion was performed using bovine (Bos taurus) erythrocytes because of inability to acquire a wildebeest donor. Clinical parameters improved following transfusion and the post-operative haematocrit value was 0.31. The wildebeest remained physiologically stable with a gradually declining haematocrit for the next three days. On the third post-operative day, the wildebeest refractured its femur and was humanely euthanised because of the poor prognosis for further fracture repair. Xenotransfusion using blood from domestic ruminants represents a life-saving short-term emergency treatment of anaemic hypoxia in wild ungulates. Domestic goats could be used as blood donors for rare ungulates where allodonors are not available.

Keywords

anaemia; blood transfusion; Connochaetes taurinus; wildebeest; xenotransfusion

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